As expected, the next incarnation of Google’s wearable computer, Glass, will be aimed at businesses, and prototypes have been secretly delivered to software developers, the Wall Street Journal’s Alistair Barr reports.
The hope is to have for sale to companies by the fall, Barr reports.
From Barr’s accounts, this next version of Glass will be a radical departure from the last in terms of design.
Gone is the actual wire-frame glasses part of it. Instead it sounds like it will clip-on to a worker’s own pair of glasses or to their safety glasses or other eye wear. The new device also uses a faster Intel processor and has longer battery life.
There’s no word as to when the device will be ready for purchase. Just before Google stopped selling it as a consumer gadget and shut down retail stores where it was displayed, Glass was moved out of the experimental Google X research lab and into its own unit under led by consumer hardware expert and former Apple executive Tony Fadell. Fadell, who led design of the iPod at Apple, joined Google when it bought his company, Nest, in 2014.
When Google shut down the Glass program, it insisted that Glass wasn’t dead. It said then it was focusing on business-users, the market that embraced the technology. Glass faced an outcry from consumers over privacy concerns.
There are no details on who has been authorised to experiment with the new Glass, but Google did line up a handful of Glass partners with its Glass for Work program. They developed software to make Glass useful for medical applications, logistics/warehouse workers, manufacturing, and other work functions.
Google is still planning on developing a consumer version at some point in the future.
But the race is on to grab the business market. Microsoft is also going after this market with HoloLens, its virtual reality glasses that work with Windows 10. Microsoft has been showing off its HoloLens prototypes, and though hasn’t said when it thinks the device will be ready to be sold, either.