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Google Glass is back, and with a much more sensible target audience than before. The consumer edition is dead in the water, but Google is now focusing its attention on businesses. The idea being that employees will wear Google Glass to help them be more productive. Which may just work.
The History of Google Glass
For the uninitiated, Google Glass is an augmented reality headset which brings an internet-connected screen very close to your eyeball. Google first revealed Glass at Google I/O 2012, and people were bowled over by the concept. Me? I was more scared at the prospect than anything else.
Google sold quite a few Glass headsets, mainly to early-adopters in Silicon Valley. However, there was a distinct lack of apps, and no one quite knew what to do with Glass. And so Google seemingly shelved the whole project, closing the website in 2015 with a sign-off reading, “Thanks for exploring with us… the journey doesn’t end here”. And it turns out Google wasn’t lying.
Google Glass Enterprise Edition
A new version of Google Glass, called Enterprise Edition, has now been unveiled. This is Google Glass designed for businesses. Google Glass has found a home at Alphabet’s X division, and the Enterprise Edition has been available to selected partners in a limited program for a couple of years.
In a Medium post discussing the new Google Glass Enterprise Edition, Google claims there are “more than 50 businesses, including AGCO, DHL, Dignity Health, NSF International, Sutter Health,The Boeing Company, and Volkswagen, who have been using Glass to complete their work faster and more easily than before.”
As for why Google has been quiet on Glass for a while, the company states that it has spent the last two years building “customized software and business solutions” for people in industries including “manufacturing, logistics, field services, and healthcare”. It has also made “improvements to the design and hardware” and “increased the power and battery life too”.
The Enterprise Edition offers some brilliant improvements over the old Explorer Edition of Google Glass. The actual electronics (called the Glass Pod) are now detachable, the whole unit is lighter, the camera is better, there’s a better processor, there’s better networking capabilities, and there’s even a red light signifying when a Glass wearer is recording video.
Will You Be Wearing Google Glass in the Future?
Google still isn’t ready to start shipping Glass to every business that wants it. However, the company is making Enterprise Edition available to more partners. As indicated by Wired, this is a new starting point for Google Glass, but it isn’t the final destination. So, depending on your occupation you may be wearing Google Glass soon. Or a robot may steal your job instead.
Did you buy into the Google Glass hype? Did you actually purchase Google Glass when it was available to everyone? Do you approve of the switch to focusing on enterprise? Or do you think Google Glass had a future as a consumer product? The comments are open below…