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Google Glass is Back!

17 Jul, 2017
Google Glass is Back

The original Glass designers had optimistic visions of people blissfully living their lives in tandem with a wraparound frame and a small display screen hovering over their eye. However, the dream quickly gave way to disillusionment as early adopters found that their device delivered less than promised and the Google Glass was further criticized on concerns of privacy of the people around the user.

Google as a company was very reliant on the search for its massive revenues. Google along the way has launch many products and services, however these are not minting money for the company as Google would have liked. Anything that is not Google’s search, display, and video advertising, seems to be lagging behind. Google, with the formation of Alphabet has sent out a clear signal that all Google products need to become accountable for earning their place in the company’s balance sheet. We should see Google infuse our lives with their presence in more ways in the coming year. One step seems to be the wearable segment getting a brand new lease on life in the enterprise segment. Alphabet’s X, which oversees the development of the Google Glass, has announced that the Glass Enterprise Edition is being rolled out to more businesses, after two years limited trial program.

Glass ‘Enterprise Edition’ first broke cover back in 2015 in a Federal Communications Commission, US government body leak, and the new version has had many upgrades over the consumer variant. With a faster atom processor, a higher-resolution 8MP camera, the Glass is also striving to boost Glass’ battery life, one of the major drawbacks in the Google Glass consumer Edition. The display element of Glass 2 will be both larger than the original and able to move both vertically and horizontally. this would begin to alleviate another popular gripe regarding the original Glass: that the display was just too hard to focus on.

The Google Glass 2, Glass Enterprise Edition project is currently under the supervision of Nest co-founder Tony Fadell. Alphabet worked with over “30 expert partners” to tweak the overall design and functionality of the Glass with the likes of GE, AGCO, Boeing, Volkswagen, and DHL. The team at Alphabet made many enhancements to the design and internal hardware, introducing a lightweight model with increased comfort for prolonged use.

Workers at AGCO, an agricultural machinery manufacturer in Jackson, Minnesota, are using over a hundred Glass Enterprise Edition units. Using Google Glass Enterprise Edition has led to a decrease in machinery production time for AGCO by reducing the amount of time spent on “back and forth” for workers to view instruction manuals or sending photos from laptops and tablets as they assembled machines and accessed checklists. The Glass has reduced machinery production time by 25 percent and inspection times by 30 percent. Alphabet noted that DHL was able to increase its supply chain efficiency by 15% after turning to Glass Enterprise Edition. This Glass wearable also allowed doctors at Dignity Health to increase the interaction time with their patients.

The reason why Google Glass 2 work so well in a business setting vs those in private settings is that in the enterprise world, Glass is not an outgrowth of the distracting smart phone, but a tool for getting work done. The Enterprise Edition runs only the single application which is necessary to do the job. There’s no Tweeting, Snapping, Facebooking, distracting notifications, or rage-generating headlines. The company is making Google Glass Enterprise Edition accessible to more businesses via partners. While it is great to see the Google wearable find its momentum in the enterprise segment, it’s unlikely we’ll see a consumer-facing variant.

Glass in an enterprise setting is not a toy, it’s a tool that enhances our ability to perform as professionals.