Google set to relaunch Glass with focus on business use

Google glass

Just over two years since production of the original Google Glass was cancelled, the tech giant is set to launch a new business version of the smart glasses.

Google have said that the Glass Enterprise Edition will have a greatly extended battery life and would be more comfortable and more suitable for long-term use.

Aesthetically it remains similar to the original model, with its relatively small, transparent display and built-in camera.

It is expected that Google will face stiff competition, with Microsoft’s HoloLens being one of the primary competitors.

It was presumed that the Google Glass project had been cancelled after Tony Fadell, the executive in charge, resigned last year.

However, parent company Alphabet’s X division continued the work and has now revealed the fruits of their labour.

“Workers in many fields, like manufacturing, logistics, field services, and healthcare find it useful to consult a wearable device for information and other resources while their hands are busy,” wrote project lead Jay Kothari.

“That’s why we’ve spent the last two years working closely with a network of more than 30 expert partners to build customised software and business solutions for Glass for people in these fields.”

Those who had been involved in the trial were forced to agree not to reveal the existence of the product, and had to pose with the original version for any photos featuring the eyewear.

The revamped version of the technology includes a more powerful processor than its predecessor, as well as a vastly improved camera and a battery life of almost twice as long as the original.

The original edition had been sold for £1,000, but the updated version is to be sold by specialist companies, many of whom are bundling it with their own services.

German company Ubimax, which makes software for manufacturing and logistics workers, said that it would charge around £1,335 per unit on top of its own fees.

“It makes perfect sense to target businesses,” said Chris Green from the technology consultancy Lewis.

“While the original iteration of Google Glass had questionable consumer applications, we are already seeing that there is huge potential for augmented reality particularly in things like manufacturing.

“For example, a floor worker can get a single view of all the sensor data across a production line, from data about output and wear and tear of components, to where the bottlenecks are, all in a way they wouldn’t be able to do just by wandering the line normally.”

In Google’s absence from the market, many other companies have attempted to develop and market their own technology, with Microsoft’s HoloLens being considered the zenith of the current offerings.

The HoloLens has the advantage of using superimposed images over both eyes and, due to its more powerful processing abilities, more complex apps.

However, the HoloLens suffers from poor battery life, as it is currently capable of only two to three hours of use.