Well that’s that.
The Google Glass social media accounts—including Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and others—have finally been shut down after many months of continued #throughGlass postings and “Happy [insert holiday]!” images. This doesn’t come as much surprise as plans to bring Glass to the consumer market (at least by that name) have long been abandoned, but multiple people familiar with the matter say that Glass: Enterprise Edition is only just now starting to see wider adoption…
Looks like I’m off to buy AuraFans.com. Thanks for following along, everyone. It was a great ride.
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?”… Continue reading “Hey, so what’s the word on a consumer Google Glass release?”
Me reporting for 9to5Google:
We’re familiar with multiple prototypes that are nearing the final stages of revision, and one thing is very clear: This isn’t going to be a drastic departure visually from the Explorer Edition. It has been tweaked, though, and there are at least a few differences noticeable from the outside. It folds like a regular pair of glasses, and because it’s first and foremost being built for the workplace, it has a more rugged build and appearance…
More stuff. Fun. I want one.
Myself, writing for 9to5Google:
We’ve heard about a few Enterprise Edition prototypes since the beginning of the year, but there are a couple slightly different iterations of the device that are now being more widely tested. Google is introducing a larger prism that extends further, allowing the user to more comfortably look directly up rather than feeling the need to look up and to the right. The Explorer Edition was infamous for eye strain problems after prolonged use, and this change was likely made with that in mind.
Larger prism, Intel Atom, external battery packs. The last is perhaps the most interesting. Battery packs are definitely needed for the many enterprise solutions that have been built for Glass.
Me, writing for 9to5Google (as usual):
CrowdOptic is one of the most well-established of the 10 current Glass for Work parters, and now the company is in acquisition talks. According to people familiar with the matter, the company has been in advanced discussions with a Fortune 500 firm that intends to build software applications for the upcoming iteration of enterprise-focused Google Glass hardware…
Any Fortune 500 company making apps for Glass using CrowdOptic’s well-received technology is notable for the platform. Glass isn’t dead.
Myself, reporting for 9to5Google:
As we reported earlier this year, there are many different prototypes of a future Glass hardware revision being tested within some Glass for Work startups. We’ve come to learn from people familiar with the matter that the next hardware is being referred to by Google internally as “Enterprise Edition” or “Google Glass EE” (If you remember, Explorer Edition was referred to as “Google Glass XE”)…
As a consumer, I’m bummed. As a Glass fanboy, I’m so excited.
Manuela Mesco, reporting for The Wall Street Journal:
A new version of Google Glass is in the works and will be out soon, the chief executive of Italian eyewear maker Luxottica said Friday.
The partnership with the U.S. tech giant to build Glass—the Internet-connected eyewear—is going ahead, said Massimo Vian, speaking at the company’s general meeting in Milan, Italy.
Fantastic news, although it’s not really news. Glass 2.0 coming this year. Luxottica working on some frames as they did with last version. Not surprising.
I wrote more about this over at 9to5Google.
Me, writing for 9to5Google:
Sources familiar with at least one next-gen Google Glass prototype have told us that there was a version of the device being tested earlier this year that folds and looks a lot like a regular pair of glasses. While we’re not confident that this is the version or design of Google Glass that the company is moving forward with for the retail product, the above patent published yesterday, numbered D727,317, seems to depict a device that would fall pretty well in line with that description.
This is exciting. Sounds a lot like a device that I’ve heard about.
SMI has a really interesting demo of their eye-tracking accessory for Google Glass on YouTube. As per the company’s press release from last month:
SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), a leader in Eye Tracking Technology for more than two decades, announced today a prototype of SMI Gaze Interaction for Google Glass. It is based on a new eye tracking technology platform powered by Omnivision’s high quality sensor technology and SMI’s iViewNG eye tracking software platform. The result: SMI Eye Tracking for Smart Glasses enables robust gaze based interaction with the Google Glass head mounted display. Features such as gaze controlled navigation and scrolling deliver the most natural and hands-free user experience possible for a variety of day to day and professional activities.
Definitely something to keep an eye on, despite the fact that Google might be working on this themselves.
Myself, writing for 9to5Google:
The patent details three different “paths”. The first is the display path, which demonstrates how the eye will see what is being projected (like the Google Glass display), the second is the ambient path, which shows from where the ambient (background) light comes from, and the last is the built-in eye-tracking. As you can see detailed above, the eye-tracking path comes from a camera that’s embedded in the device itself (124), and uses the reflective prisms—the same reflective prisms that are used to show the display—to take a photo of the eye.
It’s going to be interesting if we get full-fledged eye-tracking with Glass 2.0. Wearable heads-up display tech really needs this.