Apparently, not only is Google already working on an “Enterprise Edition” or EE of its Google Glass smart eyewear, it is also already distributing prototypes to people in healthcare and manufacturing industries. In stark contrast to its rather flamboyant revelation of the Google Glass Explorer edition, Google is now all hush hush about this workplace-oriented version. While there still seems to be some interest, if not will, to have a consumer-ready model eventually, Google seems to be content to first improve the wearable’s street cred in the industry.
This new approach isn’t the only thing that’s different about Google Glass EE, even the hardware is slightly different. While the same basic rectangular form is there, the frame is no longer the singular wire-like piece. Now it has hinges that fold like regular glasses and can even be attached to different systems. The computer that runs Glass is also said to be different, now powered by an Intel chip for better performance. An extra battery pack is also available to address previous concerns about Glass’ short life span.
All in all, it seems that Google has learned its lessons the hard way and is now taking a more cautious approach. While sensational, the first Google Glass, or actually both v1 and v2, failed to gain widespread acceptance, partly due to glaring hardware issues and partly because of privacy concerns. Although Google is used to putting out product prototypes that later on get refined into their final forms, most of that has been applied to software. A $1,500 prototype like Google Glass, on the other hand, left very little room for error.
Failing on the consumer market, Google is trying to put its new Glasses on the faces of doctors and field workers first. That way, Google is able to bypass privacy concerns, as the use cases are mostly private. That said, sources say that Google is still intent on putting out a consumer version in the future, but that is most likely a year or so away at the very least.