BMW Using Google Glass for Quality Inspection Tests at US Plant
Google Glass may be a laughably dorky product to some, especially those who don’t have $1,500 to toss around, but if it helped ensure the quality and safety of the vehicles we purchased, we’d could give it another chance.
BMW’s vehicle manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina has been putting Google’s optical, head-mounted display technology to good use.
It may be surprising to see BMW using Google Glass, but the results so far have been promising.
With BMW Using Google Glass, an Industrial Market Could Be Possible
Quality assurance employees have been testing Google Glass in a pilot program for the past year, shortly after the device debuted. Results have been generally successful, apart from some minor improvements needed to the software and battery life, so officials are looking to expand Google Glass usage in the manufacturing process.
Known as “augmented reality,” Google Glass has the ability to capture photographic images and video footage, as well as display video, photos, and navigation software for the tester to see.
Two-minute videos are stored for temporary digital review, then collected for repeated problems, set aside, and reviewed by engineers. Using Google Glass avoids vague descriptions and confusion over reports, which BMW says happens with one of every four reports.
“We expect to speed up the entire testing cycle and increase the accuracy of the results,” Jörg Schulte, explained project coordinator and mechanical engineering expert at the facility. That’s a lot different than GM’s reason for using Google Glass in factories–to appeal to younger workers.
Use of Google Glass takes place in “pre-series” car production, when prototypes are being perfected for full production and distribution.
Google Glass is a great way for workers to show rather than tell, as a picture is worth a thousand words–especially to an engineer.