Google Glass 2 is back. Google Glass was abandoned as a consumer product long ago, but that in no way meant that Google’s ambitious project ended. Now we know the project is still very much alive, but its target client has shifted from everyday users to enterprise users.
Positive feedback from partners
Some signs of life were seen in the project in June, when after three years, the company rolled out a firmware update and updated companion app. But on Tuesday, the company officially launched the Google Glass Enterprise Edition. In a blog post, the company informed readers that many big names, such as DHL, Dignity Health, NSF International, GE Aviation, AGCO, Sutter Health, Boeing and Volkswagen, have been using the product for the past several years.
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Google has “spent the last two years working closely with a network of more than 30 expert partners to build customized software and business solutions” to make the product enterprise-ready, said Google Glass project leader Jay Kothari.
GE Aviation was among the first companies to test the new Glass. The company used the product to help engineers with the process of maintaining aircraft engines. GE estimates that the headset has helped improve its engineers’ efficiency by 8% to 12% while also lowering their error count, said Kothari.
Despite the success among the company’s partners, the roll-out of the Google Glass 2 (Enterprise Edition) is still very limited. According to Wired, sales have been in the hundreds only, with many clients using it on a trial basis. However, the company is optimistic on the success of Glass in the workplace.
“This isn’t an experiment. It was an experiment three years ago. Now we are in full-on production with our customers and with our partners,” said Kothari.
What has changed with Google Glass 2 aka Enterprise Edition?
Google Glass 2 (Enterprise Edition) is better than the Explorer Edition in several ways. For example, it has a more powerful 8MP camera compared to the 5MP camera the earlier version had. The new version also has better Wi-Fi connectivity and improved battery life, and it’s faster. Changes have also been made to the hardware to make it more lightweight and comfortable. The new version also comes with a larger display prism and a faster Intel Atom processor.
Those who were against the first version of Glass due to privacy concerns will be pleased to know that the Google Glass 2 (Enterprise Edition) has a red light which glows when the camera recording is on. Now that Google has officially launched the project, the partner companies which have been trialing Glass are now free to share their experiences. Google is also opening up the program to allow more businesses to participate.
Google’s second iteration of Glass will also put pressure on Microsoft to accelerate its HoloLens efforts. Last year, Microsoft showcased how its HoloLens augmented reality headset is being used by Japan Airlines to help its engineers maintain its fleet of planes, notes Neowin. Currently, Microsoft’s headset is sold as a “Development Edition” device, while its next version is expected in 2019.
At 10:27 a.m., Alphabet shares were up 0.26% at $978.50. Year to date, the stock is up more than 23%, while in the last three months, the stock is up almost 15%.