Google Glass is set to return, but not as we know it. A new version aimed at workers will come as a small attachment, letting people fix them to regular glasses.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the new version doesn’t have a wire-like frame, instead featuring a button-and-hinge system to attach it to different glasses.
Previous reports suggested that the new model is foldable like a normal pair of glasses, so it’s possible there could be slight variations or models.
The new version is also said to be water resistant and more durable, which makes sense given its aim to be used by businesses in factories, warehouses, or other work environments where the tiny computer could get damaged.
WSJ also reports that the new version comes with improved battery life and a larger prism to project the display into a users’ field of vision.
Google is also reportedly developing a battery pack that connects magnetically to provide additional power.
To convince employers about the several benefits of the device, Google is launching a program dubbed “Glass at Work.” The company will be working with app makers to come up with a number of programs that will further enhance the Glass’ work image.
Some of the companies that are being targeted by Google include those in the energy, manufacturing, health care and food service sectors.
One company that is said to have tested some of the Glass’ early apps is Taco Bell. According to Google, the app is designed to help its employees in arranging menu items.
Google has assigned Tony Fadell, co-founder of Nest, to be the head of the project. A former executive at Apple, Fadell is known for his contributions in the development of Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPod. In a statement to BBC, Fadell said that wearable computing is a place where Google intends to build unabated long-term investments and that it will take time before the company will finally get it right.
Google’s focus on enterprise with the new Google Glass version could just be a clever move for the company, as the first version of the Glass was shelved after it was perceived to have limited functionality.
A number of consumers also find the wearable creepy and see it as an intruder to one’s privacy.
Google hopes that the new enterprise version with its new design and features will somehow overshadow all those past concerns that haunted the first version. The company believes that issues on privacy and fashion are given less weight around the workplace.
Glass 2.0 will be officially referred to as Google Glass Enterprise Edition. The new version will be available beginning in the autumn.