What you need to know
- Google's professional Glass Enterprise Edition program is upgrading to version two.
- The wearable's getting an improved camera and CPU.
- You'll need to pay $999 for the upgraded model.
Though Google Glass may have been a dud as a consumer product, the futuristic-looking wearable has found a second life in the company's Glass Enterprise Edition program for businesses. After collecting feedback from the likes of AGCO, Deutsche Post DHL Group, and Sutter Health employees who have implemented the improved device into their daily work, Google revealed the initiative's successor, Glass Enterprise Edition 2, on Monday.
"We're excited to see how our partners and customers will continue to use Glass to shape the future of work," the company stated in a blog post on Monday.
Google claims that hands-free access to valuable tools and information such as checklists and instructions using the wearable has improved employees' efficiency. Agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO cited a 25 percent decrease in machinery production time with the original Glass Enterprise Edition. Another member of the program, DHL, similarly increased its supply chain efficiency by 15 percent according to Google.
The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 intends to push this even further, in part thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon XRI platform. As such, this version features a more powerful multicore CPU and a new artificial intelligence engine. "This enables significant power savings, enhanced performance and support for computer vision and advanced machine learning capabilities," according to Google.
"We're committed to providing enterprises with the helpful tools they need to work better, smarter and faster," the post reads.
These improvements come bundled with a new USB-C port, enhanced battery life, and new safety frames courtesy of a partnership with Smith Optics. The wearable's camera, already a higher resolution model than the one found in the original Google Glass, has been beefed up as well. Developing and deploying the wearable has never been easier either, the company says, because the Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is built on Android and supports Android Enterprise Mobile Device Management.
Finally, the Glass team has been relocated to Google from its previous home at Alphabet's moonshot factory, X. Up to this point, "X, which is designed to be a protected space for long-term thinking and experimentation, has been a great environment in which to learn and refine the Glass product," the company states. However, increased demand in the wearable market prompted the switch.