Google Glass returns: This time, it’s professional – CNET

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AGCO using Glass Enterprise Edition in the field.

Google X

A long time ago, before Snapchat Spectacles and Microsoft Hololens, there was Google Glass. Google’s bold vision of headsets wasn’t as futuristic as it seemed back in 2013 — it was more head-mounted display than augmented reality — and its design as a personal device put most people off.

It may have found a home in business, though.

Google Glass 2.0 is a hardware revamp of Glass in a similar design. Now it’s being targeted as an enterprise wearable, in the spirit of Epson Moverio, Microsoft Hololens and Daqri. And in that context, it’s a lot less off-putting.

Glass Enterprise Edition, as it’s being called, is only available via “Glass Partners,” or specific solution partners for business. Price is variable: “the cost can vary based on the software customization, customer support and training you need.”

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What new Glass looks like: basically, just like old Glass.

X Company

Glass Partners include Augmedix (a “documentation automation platform” for health systems), Aira (assistance for the blind, which helped this runner race the Boston Marathon) and Brain Power (neuroscience-assisted tools for autism and traumatic brain injury).

DHL, GE, Sutter Health and AgCo have already been working with Glass Enterprise Edition, according to X Company’s new Glass site. Improvements include longer battery life, lighter weight, a faster processor, an improved 8-megapixel camera, a light to show when Glass is recording, and better, more secure wireless connectivity. Glass also works with prescription lenses.

Technically, Glass isn’t positioning itself as an AR device. Instead, the X team considers Glass to be “assisted reality,” not augmented reality.

As augmented reality moves into more phones in the near future, AR headsets — or, assisted reality ones — no longer seem so farfetched. Whether or not people will want to wear smartglasses remains unclear, but for those that do, Glass is firmly staying in the enterprise race. And the funny thing is, this time it all seems incredibly, boringly normal.

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