Google Glass Resurrected As New Enterprise Edition

by Jamie Feltham • July 18th, 2017

Google Glass might be considered a sort of precursor to everything we write about on UploadVR today. Long before Cardboard, Daydream, and Tango, Google aimed to give the world a normal pair of glasses that presented simple AR overlays; far more primitive than what we see now with Microsoft’s HoloLens, but still very promising. The device seemed doomed, though, when Google stopped producing its prototype Explorers kit in 2015. But Google Glass isn’t done; it lives again.

Glass was today reintroduced by Alphabet X, a ‘moonshot’ facility founded by Google, designed to create ambitious and ground-breaking devices. Rather than the consumer-facing lifestyle kit we originally knew it as, this iteration of Glass is intended for manufacturing, logistics, and other such uses. It’s thus been dubbed Glass Enterprise Edition.

As if from thin air a new Glass website has popped up listing partners such as DHL, Volkswagen (who recently committed to the incorporation of VR and AR tech), and even Samsung. Many of these companies have continued to use Glass even as the $1,500 Explorer Edition was removed from public sale, with Google promising fans that “the journey doesn’t end here.”

Glass’ AR images were simple 2D layers instead of virtual projections that understood the world around them. Nevertheless, it could supply essential data to assist you with various tasks.

The Enterprise Edition has been redesigned for a more comfortable fit than the previous model and is somewhat ruggedized to suit manual labor. It’s got increased power and battery life, too. Apparently, the device has helped doctors at Dignity Health reduce time spent on administration work by 33 percent, for example, thanks to an app that takes notes as they talk with patients. DHL, meanwhile, estimates its increased its supply chain efficiency by 15% by providing real time instructions to workers at its facilities.

“We first saw signs of Glass’ potential for businesses in the Glass Explorer days,” Jay Kothari, Project Lead on Glass, wrote in an announcement. “As we said when we graduated, we’d been seeing incredible developments with Glass in the workplace. Now the Glass product team is back at X, and we’ll be collaborating with the Google Cloud team and our partners to help customers across a variety of business sectors make the most of Glass.”

We’ll still likely never see Glass as a consumer product but, frankly, with Mixed Reality headsets on the horizon, the tech is already a little outdated.

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