The third generation of Google Glass has arrived for tech-savvy workers. Google has introduced Glass Enterprise Edition 2 eyewear that largely sticks to the familiar formula on the outside, but should be far more powerful both in hardware and software. For one, it’s “built on Android” — it should be easier for developers to write Glass-friendly apps, and you can even enroll it in Android’s enterprise device management to help IT maintain control. Creators might want to write apps for it, too, since there are some big changes under the hood.
The new version is running on Qualcomm’s headset-oriented Snapdragon XR1 processor. That brings faster performance, particularly for AI, but it also promises “significant power savings” that lead to longer battery life — important when you might need Glass for hours at a time. Google also touts “improved” camera quality for video streaming and collaboration. True to earlier reports, there’s also a USB-C port that can charge faster.
Warehouse workers and others in dangerous situations will also be happy to hear that Google has teamed with Smith Optics to create Glass-ready safety frames (shown above) for a range of work conditions.
Google hasn’t mentioned pricing, although that’s more likely to depend on companies. You’re not about to buy one for personal use (interested corporate entities can inquire here). The Android switch and upgraded hardware could do wonders for adoption, though. Earlier models relied on a custom platform and old hardware that might have put off companies faced with the challenge of writing (or rewriting) apps. Now, the experience should be closer to writing an app for a phone. You still aren’t going to see these on the street, but you may see more uptake from corporate customers who want smart eyepieces without splurging on a mixed reality headset like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2.