We have some news that’s going to press pause on your head hardware hate. It might even make you say … “OK, Glass, let’s see what else you got.” Here at Brit HQ, we like to find innovative ways that you can actually use the emerging tech you read about on the Internet IRL. When it comes to Glass, we’ve kept an open mind but even with babies on our brain, we didn’t catch this one coming. The seeing eye wearables are the unsuspecting breakout star of an initiative to help new moms navigate one of the oft-frustrating parts of raising baby: breastfeeding.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association joined forces with Melbourne-based tech company Small World to try out different technology in their Breastfeeding Support Project. The goal was to find solutions for women looking for breastfeeding guidance. They kept a couple things in mind: While the old school traditional family unit used to live down the street, and sometimes even in the same home, today’s fams are spread across cities, states and the globe. This means that a new mama may not have her mom or another fairy godmother type to help her through some of the biggest WTF mom moments. And with hospital stays shorter than ever and more focused on the delivery than what to do after, new moms might not have the time to “get it right” before they head home.
The Breastfeeding Support Project trial included five moms, 15 breastfeeding counselors and different types of tech, including Google’s wearable headset. With Glass on, the mothers could see visual step-by-step instructions as they started learning to breastfeed. When they needed to talk to someone, they could securely video call ABA volunteer counselors from anywhere. Once logged on, the counselors could view the mother’s issue through Glass’s camera and provide her immediate suggestions.
The counselors and moms experimented with instant messaging, video chat, Google Hangouts and phone calls. Since Glass is easy to wear, simple to use and an immersive experience that offers a real time view of what’s up, it earned snaps and claps above the others. The ABA and Small World created a voice-activated, hands-free online portal that provided their moms with on-demand breastfeeding help. They could access while wearing and navigating Google Glass or log on to the portal through tablets and computers as well.
In a non-Glass-related observation, it’s also cool to note that the trial found “peer community support is the magic pixie dust of why the volunteer counseling service works so incredibly well.” The women participating in the trial shared their experiences regularly on Google Plus, which organically became its own social hub of advice, discussion, shared resources and support. While Glass is expensive and not crazy accessible right now, we could see a future where new moms could take home similar equipment post-delivery, then pass it along to the next new mom once they were ready. A social network of women going through the same trials, errors and experiences only makes us more excited about the possibilities. Glass, we finally have our eye(s) on you.
Did this news change your mind about Google Glass? New moms, would you use Glass to help you breastfeed? Share your thoughts below!