If you’ve been following a lot of my reporting lately, you know that Google is planning to bring the next major hardware revision of Google Glass to the enterprise. From what I’ve heard from multiple people, it’s going to be a pretty nice incremental improvement over the Explorer Edition we all know and love (or hate, now that it’s basically useless and has no developer support)…
But while Google said in February of 2013 that it was hoping to bring Glass to retail by the end of that calendar year, it did no such thing. In fact, later that year the company also went on to claim that Glass would come to consumers in 2014 (which it never did). People eventually gave up on the device, calling it “dead,” assuming it got the same treatment countless other Google products have.
But that’s just simply not what happened. Google started retooling Glass for the workplace at some point in the latter part of 2014, and has been working on bringing that device to the enterprise since. It’s being called Enterprise Edition internally, and from what I’ve heard, it’s coming sooner rather than later. The WSJ reported this last year. And it’s happening.
“But what about us consumers?”…
That’s the question that I have been repeatedly asked as I’ve revealed more details about the Enterprise Edition. This hardcore enthusiast group of people — maybe a few thousand of them at the most — who use Glass on a daily basis want to know when their $1,500 “investment” (no, sorry, it wasn’t an investment unless you’re a developer) is going to pay off. The “Glassholes” want to know.
And I use that term with the most utmost love and endearment. Some of the Glassholes are my best Internet friends, and I guess some would argue — considering how closely I follow this device — that I am one as well. But this group of people, who still want to see Glass come to replace our cell phones and our iPads, wants to know when Glass is coming to market. What about Fadell?
And here’s what I have to offer you: Google is working on a consumer release. Yes, as of right now, Tony Fadell and his newly-formed team are considering deeply how this thing can make it to mass market. They’re considering how Glass could replace our Android Wear watches, even. They’re talking about how this futuristic heads-up augmented reality future might eventually come to fruition.
But here’s the bad news: According to what I’ve heard from multiple people who would know, it’s a year or two away. Google is leaving no rock unturned. They’re keeping absolutely no sacred Explorer Edition cows when thinking about how the future of Glass is going to pan out. The device they’re building is going to be consumer-focused, but the catch is that they’re barely building it at this point.
Be patient. The Enterprise Edition (or whatever Google decides to call it in the end) is going to be cool, I promise. But you might not be able to get one, and everything is going to be okay.