It appears rumours of the demise of Google’s Augmented Reality headset, Google Glass, has been false, as the company has resurrected the device as Google Glass Enterprise Edition, targetted at companies who want to make their workers more productive.
The headset has seen some minor improvements, with a slightly larger display, more rugged foldable design, longer battery life and more power, courtesy of an Atom processor.
No longer available directly to the public, Google is working directly with companies such as DHL, Boeing and GE to create applications for their workers.
According to Google, Glass workers at DHL increased supply chain efficiency by 15% by using a solution called Ubimax to “receive real-time instructions about where items have to be placed on the carts with the help of visual aids, and Augmetix’s “remote scribe” app it has reduced the paperwork of doctors by 20%, allowing them to spend 50% more time with patients while the app transcribes interviews in the background.
The new productivity focus means the device is going head to head with the more sophisticated but more expensive Microsoft HoloLens, which is more capable but also more obtrusive. That could mean the low end of the market, with basic Augmented Reality, rather than Microsoft’s Mixed Reality, could be hoovered up by Google, reducing the potential sales for the HoloLens.
Both companies have however cedes the consumer market, leaving the door open to Apple, who appears to be laying the ground for a headset based on ARKit in the next few years.
Google is selling the new Google Glass Enterprise edition via a network of partners.