Google Glass initially launched in 2014, after a prototype was made available to select people in 2013. It was not long before the product came under scrutiny. It was heavily criticized for privacy and safety concerns. Within a year of its broader release, the program was shut down.
However, that was not the end for Google Glass. Alphabet X, the branch of Google that created the glasses, has revealed Glass Enterprise Edition. This new version of Google Glass is aimed at companies rather than the general public.
The original glasses featured a touch pad, camera, and liquid crystal display. The privacy concerns came from the use of the camera and the ethics of recording people in public without their knowledge. This is no longer a concern with Glass Enterprise Edition since the plan is for them to be used at work, reducing the amount of paperwork and improving production times. Companies such as GE, DHL, Dignity Health, Volkswagen, NSF International, The Boeing Company, and AGCO have already been using the glasses to great effect.
The new glasses are hands-free, lightweight, and comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time. The glasses can be used to provide instructions to workers with visual aids, demonstrate processes with videos, and doctors can use an app within the glasses to take notes while they are talking to patients. GE states that their mechanics’ efficiency has improved by up to 12% since they began using the glasses.
The current plan for the glasses does not include providing them to the general public. They plan on continuing to work with businesses to improve their workers’ abilities to use the glasses to improve their productivity and enhance the workplace.