Google Glass was supposed to become everyone’s next portable computer. However, the device didn’t quite catch on. But now, a version of the product has been tested and deployed across many factories in the United States by companies such as Boeing, GE and DHL. This edition is known as Google Glass Enterprise Edition (EE).
There have been quite some upgrades to the Enterprise Edition. It has a better camera, extended battery life, faster Wi-Fi and processor and a new red light that turns on when recording video. The electronics of the Glass have also been made modular in the shape of a Glass Pod, which can be detached and reattached to Glass-compatible frames. These include things like safety goggles and prescription glasses.
Right now, the scale of the Google Glass Enterprise Edition rollout is quite small, though. Wired reports that sales have been in the hundreds, and most of the biggest customers buying the product are only doing so on a trial basis. However, Google’s parent company Alphabet remains optimistic about the project. In fact, feedback from workers and companies have been positive, with the device providing assistive information on the work floor and improving productivity.
However, the approach and direction with the Google Glass Enterprise Edition are more cautious. The chief of Alphabet’s experimental X division, Astro Teller, says:
“We’re not going to prejudge exactly what that path is. We’ll focus on the places that are actually getting value out of that and go through the journey with them, being open minded about where it’s going to go.”
Recently, Alphabet lifted its non-disclosure agreement on its Glass EE partners. Now, the company is opening up the program for other businesses to participate. It certainly appears that Google’s failure in making the original Google Glass a mass market product might bring about success for Alphabet’s workplace-focused assistive device.