Google Glass Enterprise Edition is official & the clue is in the name

Google Glass is alive and it's on track to invade more and more workplaces
Google Glass Enterprise Edition is official

19 January, 2015. That's the date that Google decided to can its Google Glass Explorer program, leaving early adopters wondering what to do with the expensive piece of kit.

The X Lab project is by no means dead though as by this point Glass At Work was already underway. In a blog post today, Glass project lead Jay Kothari outlined "a new chapter" for Glass, which begins with details of how the second iteration of Glass, the Enterprise Edition, has been used in industries like aviation, medicine and manufacturing for two years.

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And as of today, it's going to be more widely available to companies who want to use the AR glasses via one of 30 Glass partners who are building the software. Each device only runs the one application it needs to, no extras. One of Google's clients AGCO told Wired it has been paying between $1,300 and $1,500 per pair.

The fact Glass EE has been used in 50 businesses, including GE, Boeing and Volkswagen, so far isn't a surprise - we've known about the existence of this next gen eyewear for a while from mentions in support pages, FCC filings and warranty or regulation documents.

Google Glass Enterprise Edition is official

One of the biggest criticisms of the first incarnation of Glass was that it was plain ugly. Even with the help of Oakley and Ray-Ban, Glass couldn't shake it's tech prototype look. With the Enterprise Edition, it's perhaps less of a priority, but while the DNA is much the same there have been some changes made for this version.

Kothari notes that the device is more lightweight and comfortable to use with power and battery improvements over the original too - though in some cases e.g. constant streaming an external battery pack is needed. The Glass Pod, which houses all the electronics, can be removed from the frame by pressing the camera button and can then be connected to regular prescription glasses or, for instance, safety eye goggles.

The glasses' built-in camera is now 8MP and has a red light to alert those around you that you're recording and Glass EE also comes with faster, more reliable Wi-Fi.

So what of a Google Glass 2 that follows up on the Explorer Edition? Kothari's post ends by noting that "the Glass product team is back at X" and that it will be working with the Google Cloud teams and those Glass partners on the Enterprise Edition. Our bet is that Google is biding its time, after the backlash against the Explorer Edition, no doubt waiting for the public to catch up to its forward thinking on everyday AR.

Source: X blog | Wired




2 Comments

  • mooresdata says:

    I think that they are missing the most basic "killer app" for this device:  VR Keyboard and Mouse - everywhere.  Super portable and needs no extra power supply.

    As I sit in my favourite work-cafe it again hits me how useless my laptop kb/mouse is.  Touchscreen is foolish.  I want to SEE a keyboard and mouse, not carry them.  

    Google Glass offers that promise:  Show me a keyboard right there in front me me... I turn my head, the keyboard remains right where I put it on the tabletop.  Show me a mouse... if I grab it, let it move like a mouse.  There should be almost no difference between the real thing and the VR version.

    The kb/mouse pop into existence the second you make "the gesture" (envision a magician flexing his fingers toward the tabletop and SHAZAM!!  a keyboard appears magically in front of him, ready to use.  Or a right-hand only gesture slightly off to the right: SHAZAM!! a mouse appears miraculously).  Alternatively, when I make the "POINT" gesture (thumb to the left, pointer up, rest curled) to the right of the VR keyboard, I AM the mouse.  Clicking etc. are pretty self-evident.

    We have the sensor tech available today for this to work without any extra hardware and the software is high-school grade.

    Do this and Google Glass will fly off the shelves.  You have my promise ;-)

    THEN we need to work on the haptic feedback - but I can live without it for now.

    • boball says:

      How about good enough speech interpretation to not need a keyboard, which only forms words that can be spoken in the first place. Oh, we have that already!

      No, this is not the innovation that will bring these devices to market, a fully fledged HUD that can respond to eye, face or hand gestures along with voice is the way, typing is for cave men and coders!

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