Back in 2013, the first edition product of the much-lauded and highly debated Google Glass project was made available to the public. Google Glass Explorer Edition was a fascinating piece of tech — resembling standard eyeglasses, these virtual reality accessories displayed hands-free information in a format similar to smartphones, allowing the wearer to use voice commands or the side touchpad, and came equipped with a camera capable of recording both images and video.
The $1,500 price tag, functionality issues, overall impracticality of the device, and privacy concerns due to the camera led to Google closing down the project, with vague claims of redesigning the gear from scratch and a promise not to release the new version until it was perfect. That was in early 2015. Now, Google has come through on that promise — but in a completely unexpected way.
Introducing the Glass Enterprise Edition.
Unlike its predecessor, the new Google Glass device is not available to consumers. Google’s new design has repurposed the Enterprise Edition to provide functionality for a wide range of business and industry, from warehouses to automobile factories to health care.
With the release of the device, Google revealed that the new edition of Glass has been designed to not only be more comfortable for users, with a lightweight yet durable construction built to withstand tough working conditions, but also boasts increased power and a longer battery life.
Alphabet X, the Google branch that has been working in the background to redevelop Google Glass, has been steadily beta testing the device under actual working conditions. Companies such as Tesla and Boeing received early versions of the next-generation edition, and as of the recent public announcement, more than 50 companies are currently using Glass Enterprise Edition.
The reinvented Glass is already delivering results for these companies. For example, agricultural manufacturing giant AGCO has used the device to reduce production times by 25 percent, while healthcare professionals have reported that doctors are able to spend up to 50 percent more time with their patients due to paperwork reductions.
While there seem to be no current plans for a new public offering of Google Glass, the device is now being offered to more businesses throughout the country.