Chances are you are using a Google product whether you know it or not. Instead of focusing on creating its own devices, the Internet search giant has positioned itself to develop partnerships and provide its services on products everywhere. For example, your smartphone may run on Google’s mobile operating system called Android. Even if you don’t use Google’s Internet browser, Chrome, chances are there is a Google search bar in the upper right corner.
Most recently, Google struck a deal with GE on its Smallworld suite of software, which will integrate Google Maps data into Smallworld’s electrical, telecommunications and gas applications. The deal promises to offer the ability to visualize data on a map, which GE indicated is aiding in the step toward the smart grid. With the ability to visualize data on a map, utilities will be able to provide customers with individualized information, such as outage and restoration times. Google Map integration with the software will also help to more efficiently manage network assets.
In a press release, Tarun Bhatnagar, director of Google Geo Enterprise, said, “By using Google Maps and our API offering, GE is providing its customers with the advantage of a simple and intuitive user interface. Because so many people already know how to use Google Maps, this allows GE’s Smallworld technology to be an even more powerful enterprise solution.”
It isn’t the first time Google Maps has been integrated into a product’s services, but in the past, it has most commonly been used in conjunction with websites and mobile apps. Recently, however, Google made a big leap to the electronics market by integrating its Google TV services with some HDTVs and Blu-ray players.
User confidence in Google is a factor, as consumers are beginning to recognize the brand and see it as an indication that map navigation services are accurate and reliable. In short, Google has a foothold as a household name in the information age. Look for it to make more inroads to electrical industry products.