Google Glass returns as a tool for businesses

The last we heard of Google Glass, the heads-up display spectacles had turned into something of a national punchline. Google stopped selling the devices to individual customers in 2015, and the public found other face-mounted displays to get hyped about. As it turns out, though, the Glass program didn't disappear. Instead, the Glass team has spent the last two years working with industry partners to develop a business-friendly variant of the spectacles called Glass Enterprise Edition.

For an idea of Glass' new lease on life, Google points to Agco, a manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. The company's workers have been using Google Glass on the factory floor to help guide them through complicated assembly instructions. General Electric's aviation mechanics have also been using Glass instead of printed assembly manuals, and the company reports that the technology has helped them reduce errors and increase the efficiency of their mechanics. Other companies who've gotten on board with the revitalized Glass include DHL, Samsung, Boeing, and Volkswagen.

The new hardware looks like it operates similarly to previous versions of the device. The transparent display is still mounted to a pair of spectacles, although the new models look a lot more like safety goggles than designer glasses. Users can still issue verbal commands to interact with the device, access videos and other digital media, and initiate live video streams using a built-in camera.

Now that the Glass-for-business program has wrapped up its incubation period, the technology is back on the market again. Companies interested in the Glass Enterprise Edition headsets won't be buying them through Google, though. Instead, there's a list of Glass Partners, each with a industry specialty, that offer the devices, relevant software, and support to interested parties. Pricing will depend on the customization, training, and support needed.

Comments closed
    • juzz86
    • 2 years ago

    Need all the help you can get on a Caterpillar Positrack.

    • Philldoe
    • 2 years ago

    So this is what it’s like when the worst plague in human history mutates to become immune to modern medicine.

    • Laykun
    • 2 years ago

    Hope they solved the horrendous battery problems by replacing the ancient Texas instruments processor the consumer version had.

      • frenchy2k1
      • 2 years ago

      they had to, TI stopped making the chip years ago…

    • UberGerbil
    • 2 years ago

    This is a much more reasonable market, but it’s one that already has competitors who have been in trials or deployment for several years now (eg [url=http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a13967/lockheed-martin-augmented-reality-f-35/<]Lockheed Martin with partners[/url<], and of course MS' Hololens).

      • superjawes
      • 2 years ago

      But this application is pretty wide open. Replacing paper drawings/manuals with “computers” in manufacturing/maintenance is pretty recent, so there will be plenty of opportunities to sell these as manufacturers adopt virtual tools.

      • Zizy
      • 2 years ago

      That Lockheed thingy looks very interesting. IF it really works the way it is supposed to, how could Google sell a single unit? LM’s glasses look to have better AR and are cheaper.

        • blastdoor
        • 2 years ago

        Plus — what company would trust Google, with their “all information yearns to be free” attitude?

          • alloyD
          • 2 years ago

          Google doesn’t say “all information yearns to be free,” they say “all information yearns to be ours”

      • psuedonymous
      • 2 years ago

      On the other hand, the industrial HMDs available for the past few decades are an order of magnitude or two greater in cost the Google Glass. Glass may not displace these HMDs in existing deployments, but it’s a big market they’ve opened up to those who were previously priced out.

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