Google may be most famous for its search tools and Android mobility solutions, but I suspect the brand is going to be more synonymous with AI, cloud and even augmented reality (AR) technologies in the next few years.
We are constantly searching for information. And when we have a question, the first thing we tend to do is pick up a mobile device to either contact a person or start scouring data sources – our email, an app or the internet – for answers. As such, mobile devices have become invaluable to us as consumers and professionals. It’s why we are always either carrying one in our hand, wearing one on our arm/wrist or mounting them in our vehicles. Regardless of the form they take, mobile devices have become our personal assistants, coaches and cheerleaders…our single source of truth. They tell us where to go, what to do and how to do things. They simultaneously stimulate our minds and give our brains a break.
However, the more we use these devices, the harder it becomes for them to keep up. That’s why Google – like Zebra – has been focused on AI, the cloud, and similar “advanced” technologies for a while.
(Did you know Google has been using AI since 2018 to help with battery optimization?) It’s also why Google just created a formal Android Enterprise partner program and works with companies like Zebra every day to monitor and mature mobile technology.
Together, it’s our responsibility to ensure the economy’s mobile technology dependency is sustainable.
Plus, the truth is that mobile technology is “still on an island,” as Sean Ginevan, Head of Global Strategy and Technology Partnerships for Android Enterprise at Google, recently put it. It’s being used at the edge of business operations in many ways, but certainly not in all the ways it could or should be used, partially because the bridges to sensors and systems stationed elsewhere across the supply chain or value chain have yet to be built within businesses’ tech stacks. You may be able to automatically capture data across your owned operations, and you may find it easier than ever to analyze that data (thanks AI!). But is all that data being fully utilized? Have you figured out how to distribute and action that data among all stakeholders so that it adds value to your business? And can you see what’s happening upstream or downstream and how it’s impacting your primary operating environment? Probably not (yet).
It's one of the great struggles of our generation.
As technologists, problem solvers and business leaders, we have invested heavily to mature automated data capture technologies so that we can see what’s happening in the world from every angle. We’ve optimized barcode, RFID, sensor, machine vision and computer vision platforms. We’ve figured out the proper use cases for each technology, simplified solution design, deployment and management processes, and touted both the big picture and granular business insights gained as a result. But seeing what’s happening is just a stepping stone – doing something about it is what delivers results.
Now we must think about workflows – the human experience – rather than technology. Technology is just a tool that helps people be heroes.
So, I recently sat down with Sean and Therese Van Ryne, Senior Director of External Communications for Zebra, to talk about what Google is doing (in part with Zebra) to ensure people have what they need to work in better ways. You’ll want to listen to this one all the way to the end…