New Google Glass for businesses will reportedly attach to other eyewear

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Finally, Google Gets Glass. We Hope..

The next edition of Google Glass will target enterprises and feature an attachable design, a news report suggests, shedding new light on rumors that have been circulating over the past several months. It is looking to reboot the glasses with a slightly different design and a focus on giving them to businesses, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.Google has quietly resurrected its wearable computer, Glass, as an enterprise-focused device aimed at industries such as healthcare, manufacturing and energy. A new consumer version of the glasses — which the company has repeatedly hinted at since it stopped selling them at the beginning of the year — is at least a year away, according to the report.

Other improvements include increasing the size of the prism that projects images into the user’s vision, effectively giving it a bigger display, while at the same time making it thinner and more compact. It will differ from that version, however, in that it will reportedly feature a button-and-hinge system rather than a fixed frame, making it attachable to different kinds of eyewear. But for now, the device is aimed exclusively at business customers who gain immediate value from having a head-mounted display, and bypass many of the issues experienced by consumer users, particularly the privacy concerns sparked by wearing a head-mounted camera in public places. The WSJ wrote: The new model has a faster Intel processor, improved battery life of as long as two hours and improved wireless connectivity, the people said. The original $1,500 Google Glass version is widely considered to have been released before it was ready for consumer use, and it encountered a strong backlash over privacy concerns.

Following the original’s spectacular flop with consumers, the new device will not be called Google Glass 2.0, but is being developed under the name Enterprise Edition (EE). That announcement saw Google moving the team out of its future-tech X division and into a whole separate division headed by the man behind the iPod, Tony Fadell. An external battery pack connects magnetically to the device, the latest news suggests, promising better battery life than what was offered by its predecessor.

But the gadget has also been made more hardy, with fewer places for water to seep in, making the model more waterproof than the original, according to sources. Google Glass’ utility in business and industrial settings has always been clear, and if any constituency is going to shell out thousands of dollars for these devices it will be business users.

Consumers will probably become more comfortable with such technology eventually, but “it will take a while before the average person gets to that point,” Kagan added. Sold as part of an “explorer” programme, initially for $1,500 a pair, the company was adamant that users weren’t buying a finished consumer product. Earlier in July leaks from the company showed a device with a bigger viewing prism for a better visual display, despite complaints that Google Glass was too bulky and nerdy. It’s rumoured that final iterations of the EE will include a prism that extends further, allowing wearers to glance upwards and focus on the screen more comfortably than before.

While the consumer preview was mildly unsuccessful, it did reveal to the company the potential of using the devices in specific institutional contexts. Google has previously vowed to design Glass ‘from scratch’ and papers filed by Google reveal the tech giant has successful tested a mystery device dubbed GG1, which is thought to stand for Google Glass. Google’s mystery device is simply described as an instrument in the filing and as ‘Bluetooth & DTS/UNII a/b/g/n/ac’, suggesting it is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. The model number is the biggest hint at the device being the next-generation headset, although tablets and phones also come with these features so it could be a different device entirely.

Happily, a number of researchers ranging from Microsoft to NASA, to name just two examples, are working on this issue — although what they are doing is nowhere near ready for prime time. So, before I get excited about Google Glass again, I’d like to hear more about how practical this will be for other work environments besides the few carefully curated examples – such as its use by surgeons or by technicians repairing complex machinery.

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