The San Francisco 49ers coaches and front office personnel are in Indianapolis for the 2014 NFL Combine. While they are busy preparing for the upcoming draft, 49ers Studio is able to put together some interesting content. Scott Kegley, the 49ers' Senior Manager for Digital and Social Media, had a chance to sit down with Jim Harbaugh to discuss the Combine. You can watch the full one-on-one at 49ers.com.
Coach Harbaugh gave some fairly general responses when discussing things related to the Combine. However, the conversation grew more interesting when it turned to Google Glass. The 49ers Studio crew is using Google Glass in Indianapolis to provide a first-hand account of what's going on at the Combine.
For those that have never heard of Google Glass, or at least don't know exactly what it is, it is basically a wearable computer with something called an optical head-mounted display. A person wears the glasses (seen in the picture above, and the video linked above), and the idea is that they can use natural language voice commands to do a variety of things. Our friends at The Verge (we're all part of the same company) got a chance to check out Google Glass last year, and put together a detailed review.
When I see Jim Harbaugh wearing Google Glass, I have to steal Trevor Woods' joke. There's a certain Terminator look to it!
But seriously, what was most interesting about Coach Harbaugh's interview was his mention of getting Google Glass for the team, at least the quarterbacks to start. I honestly don't know if he was joking, but he mentioned getting Google Glass for OTAs and whatnot. The 49ers have developed into a tech-savvy organization, including moving playbooks to iPads, and developing digital databases for sorting through scouting information. Why not add Google Glass to the mix?
Google Glass provides basic things like Internet searches, but there could be an opportunity for the team, quarterbacks in particular, to use Google Glass to improve their game. It's not something they'd wear with helmets at this point, but during offensive installation, there is an interesting feature that could potentially be utilized down the road. From the review in The Verge:
But the feature everyone is going to go crazy with — and the feature you probably most want to use — is Glass’ ability to take photos and video with a "you are there" view. I won’t lie, it’s amazingly powerful (and more than a little scary) to be able to just start recording video or snapping pictures with a couple of flicks of your finger or simple voice commands.
There would seem to be a ways to go before this can become something useful for the team, but this fascinates me. The 49ers are building what could be the most technologically advanced stadium in the world. They are in the heart of Silicon Valley. It only makes sense to continue taking their technological opportunities to new levels.
Coach Harbaugh could have been joking around, but we know how badly he wants to win. At the end of the video linked above, he talks about getting one mile per hour better. Google Glass could be one more way that happens.