Ann Arbor-based EyeSucceed, an NSF company, has formally partnered with Google to come up with new applications for Google Glass in the food safety industry.
NSF has been providing audits of food service operations on Google campuses across the country for several years, as it does for numerous other companies. Since February 2015, EyeSucceed has been working directly with the Glass team to pilot food-industry applications of Glass, including remote food safety and quality audits.
"At NSF, we do over 150,000 food safety audits around the globe every year," says Tom Chestnut, co-founder of EyeSucceed and senior vice president of food at NSF. "One thing we realized was that the food safety picture is one that hasn't changed much in the last 20 to 25 years."
Back in 2013 the buggy first iteration of Google's hands-free assisted reality Glass device raised privacy concerns, and the product launch is generally considered a public relations disaster for Google. But over the last few years, a prototype for the new Glass Enterprise Edition has been in the works at X, a subsidiary of Google's parent company, Alphabet. The new version of Glass and Google's partnership with EyeSucceed were announced the same week in mid-July.
EyeSucceed uses Glass as a platform to monitor food employees in real time as they follow step-by-step requirements to complete job tasks, alerting them when they make a mistake and displaying corrective action. Information from these sessions can be uploaded to the cloud, and analysis of the collected data can lead to improvements in the process.
Chestnut says that soon after starting the pilot food inspection project with Google, NSF realized the newly-revised technology had the potential for "great applications" both within NSF and across many types of industries. For instance, an employee in the U.S. can monitor the work going on in another country without having to send an employee to physically oversee operations in dangerous, war-torn areas.
Glass is already being used in manufacturing, and Chestnut says hardly any planes have been made in the last couple years without using this type of technology.
Chestnut says that with the U.S. food industry employing more than 20 million people, there is likely to be a "great benefit" from using the new technology.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This piece is part of a series highlighting local business growth in the Ann Arbor area. It is supported by Ann Arbor SPARK.
Photo courtesy of EyeSucceed.