Google Glass: A Vision of the Future for Data Center Maintenance

Jeffrey Dutschke is an industry research specialist and blogger at Maintenance Assistant Inc, a provider of innovative web-based CMMS. CMMS software offers a way to manage facilities and infrastructure equipment at data centers.

Jeffrey-Dutschke-tnJEFFREY DUTSCHKE
Maintenance Assistant

How will your facilities maintenance team complete their work orders in three years time? Google Glass is one highly probable answer.

Walking along the data center floor, I spotted the telltale signs of a water leak from a CRAC unit. “OK Glass, create a work order. Asset: Crac021. Issue description: water pump leak.”

Introducing Google Glass

Google Glass is a portable computer worn like a pair of glasses. It makes accessible, without being touched, a camera, microphone, and speaker, with wifi and Bluetooth communication. The Glass wearer can communicate with the Glass using voice commands and tap gestures on the touch pad. Glass communicates to the user with a bone-conducting speaker and a heads-up display positioned above the right eye. Using the camera, the wearer can take photos and record video and send to friends and colleagues. Basically, it’s a smart phone you wear!


See Data Center Maintenance Differently Through Google Glass

When fitted with safety lenses, Google Glass provides a great opportunity to revolutionize the way data center technicians perform their daily tasks. When dedicated maintenance and repair applications are developed, the data center technician will directly connect to the maintenance database when completing usual maintenance activities, and more.

Today’s Applications for Google Glass

For the data center maintenance technician of today, Google Glass technology will easily integrate with their day-to-day work activities. SMS messages, twitter and email messages can be read on the heads-up display of Google Glass.  Instantly, this makes the device an ideal way to receive work orders sent via email or text message. The device is also a video telephone which can be used to get help when diagnosing a fault; help from more experienced technician or from the help center of the equipment manufacturer. For apprentices and new hires, this will be an amazing way of interacting with their supervisor and getting advice while on the job.

Tomorrow’s Applications for Google Glass

When CMMS vendors develop applications that run on Glass, the future maintenance and repair applications for Google Glass are endless. Here are some ideas for data center facility maintenance:

1. Revolutionized Work Orders

Voice commands will become commonplace in data centers. “OK Glass”, will start, followed by “submit work request”, “complete work order”, “view previous work orders”, “add photograph”, or “add video”. No pen or keyboard will be required to record maintenance data, it will be done with speech-to-text recognition. It will help keep your CRAC, HVAC and backup generators in optimal working condition.

Regular preventive maintenance is critical to maintaining the reliability of your data center infrastructure. SOP, EOP and MOP procedures and labor tasks for planned maintenance will be presented on the heads-up display as the technician works. When he or she needs, technicians can access to vital information for the equipment on which they are working, while they are working. Details such as schematics, bill of materials and safe operating procedures will be easily viewed.  Imagine looking at a circuit diagram whilst in a dark and confined space fixing the actual circuit. It will be possible with Google Glass.

Procedural videos could be recorded by experienced technicians could be attached to the asset or work order in the CMMS and will be viewed by another technician doing the same job in the future.

2. Fast Parts Identification and Reordering

As new parts are being installed during work, its QR code will be scanned with the camera, and the part automatically consumed in the work order. Its costs will be accounted for, and replacement stock ordered from the supplier. Defective parts will be quickly scanned and replacements ordered from stores.

3. Real-Time Heat Mapping

Power failures are one of the biggest causes of datacenter downtime. Subject experts recommend performing IR scans on electrical connectors at least once a year. Maybe a little further in the future, Glass came with an infrared camera option. When datacenter technicians are performing their regular planned work, Google Glass could be using the infrared camera to inspect electrical connectors heat signatures as the technician works and highlight any pending issues.

4. Advanced Data Capture

Furthermore, because Google Glass makes the process of gathering and recording information easy, it could be used as an audit trail.

How Far Away Is This Future?

Until now, Google Glass has only been available in limited quantities to selected users, but it has been reported that Google Glass will be released for public sale in 2014. The device could be employed in data centers immediately but maintenance specific functionality will only become available when CMMS and EAM software developers develop the required apps.

Making the transition to an innovative CMMS solution early will make for an easy transition to Google Glass easy when they become available. Technicians will love the functionality they offer, engineers and accountants will appreciate the data they provide, and management will love the cost savings they deliver.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

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