New Google Glass will be rugged, foldable and waterproof
The first Google Glass was marketed as a tech-savvy fashion item – a tactic that largely fell flat on its face given the abject ugliness of the sinewy brow-hugger.
Google therefore seem to be shifting emphasis, as 9to5Mac report that the new iteration of the Google Glass will be an “Enterprise Edition”, and will have a distinct focus on utility.
While the new Google Glass isn’t getting a major design overhaul, several crucial changes are being made to tip the scales towards practicality. For starters, the new model has folding arms, a robust build that can withstand drops, and a water-resistant body.
In terms of specs, the Enterprise Edition will include a larger prism display for an improved viewing experience, an Intel Atom processor to boost performance, and better heat management and battery life.
All of this points towards the Google Glass being seen as a useful piece of everyday tech, rather than a luxury wearable. Google is also reportedly ditching the fashion runways used to show off the previous iteration in favour of showcasing the device in factories and hospitals.
Printer manufacturers Epson has already set a precedent for rugged headsets with the Moverio Pro BT-2000. That device was announced in June and is aimed squarely at engineers working in industrial environments. As well as a durable design, Epson’s augmented-reality glasses feature a 5-megapixel depth-sensing camera, gesture recognition and 3D-mapping capabilities. It seems like Google has caught on to this savvy move into the enterprise market.
Google is currently planning, according to 9to5Mac, to distribute the Google Glass Enterprise Edition solely among the company’s certified Glass for Work partners – meaning no retail availability.
This limited distribution suggests that Google wants to gauge the reaction to the new practical approach before deciding whether to push the emphasis towards fashion or utility ahead of a consumer release.