Google Glass was a bold look at the future to the select “explorers” who tested the personal computing eyewear in 2013. It also looked funny and creepy to the rest of us.
Today, Google rolled out polished new Glass Enterprise Edition, a workplace tool with valued applications in fields ranging from manufacturing to health care.
Google’s reveal of Glass EE comes with a range of upgrades as well as praise from the companies that have quietly tested it for the last two years.
“This isn’t an experiment,” product manager Jay Kothari told Wired, which broke the story. “It was an experiment three years ago. Now we are in full-on production with our customers and our partners.”
The list of customers and applications are featured on the website for Glass EE.
Google introduced a prototype of Glass four years ago and sold it to willing “Glass Explorers” for $1,500 during a year-long test period. The headset projected a display in front of the user’s right eye and the wearer communicated with the internet with voice commands and head movement.
Humorists called wearers “Glassholes” and Star Trek fans were quick to joke how Glass made wearers look like The Borg, a cyber villain with now legendary pop culture cred for the ominous phrase, “Resistance is futile.” The discreet camera also raised anxiety for the potential for voyeurs surreptitiously recording us. Governments around the world drafted laws to regulate its use.
This Google Glass reboot is billed as time and money saver, allowing real-time troubleshooting and the quick access to information without having much pause in tasks underway. The video below shows how Glass helped electricians at Boeing streamline the wiring of passenger jets.
The new model features several improvements on the first Glass. The camera/computer component can now attach to prescription lenses, safety goggles or face shields. Glass EE also has a faster processor, an 8-megapixel camera and battery life that runs an eight-hour shift.