×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Google Glass Is Back, but Not for Glassholes

Google parent Alphabet is giving Google Glass another chance: The company has revived the controversial wearable device with a focus on enterprise applications, Alphabet subsidiary X revealed Tuesday.

X has been quietly testing an enterprise version of Glass with a number of companies, including GE, DHL and Sutter Health, and is now making the hardware more widely available through a network of partners. However, consumers shouldn’t hold their breath — there is no sign that Glass will be made available to them any time soon.

Google first introduced Google Glass with a so-called explorer edition two years ago, at the time touting the wearable as the future of mobility. Worn like a regular pair of glasses, and equipped with a small display in the corner of one’s field-of-view, Google Glass was supposed to give users quick access to notifications, navigation instructions and more, all without the need to take out their phone.

One of the key features of the device, was a camera, capable of taking photos and short videos with voice commands. However, that camera also led to a huge backlash, as many felt uneasy by the fact that Glass wearers could record them without their knowledge. That, and the fact that the device sold for a hefty $1700, quickly led to Glass wearers being labeled as “Glassholes.”

The new enterprise version of Glass still has the camera, but also a red LED that turns on whenever video is being recorded, Wired reported Tuesday. The hardware also comes with better wireless networking, a faster processor, and the ability to work with prescription glasses. But more importantly, the Glass team has fundamentally changed how the device is going to be used.

Instead of positioning it as a general-purpose device, Glass is being made available through specialized partners, which also sell customized software with a focus on job productivity. Workers at DHL use Glass to sort packages, GE is relying on the hardware for work site instructions, and Sutter Health is using the device to help doctors during their patient visits.

These efforts are being driven outside of Google as part of Alphabet’s X subsidiary, which is why the product is now also officially just called Glass, sans Google.

That also means that Google itself will continue to work on its own augmented reality efforts as part of the same team that has also developed the company’s Daydream VR headset. These efforts are thus far focused on smartphone-based augmented reality as part of Google’s Tango initiative, but could possibly one day be integrated into an AR headset, or pair of glasses, as well.

More Digital

  • Vaccination

    YouTube Yanks Ads From Anti-Vaccination Conspiracy Channels

    YouTube, under fire for facilitating the spread of conspiracy theories and other misinformation, said it will no longer serve ads on channels that espouse anti-vaccination rhetoric. The Google-owned video giant cited its advertising policy that bans “dangerous and harmful” content from eligibility in its monetization program. “We have strict policies that govern what videos we [...]

  • Evan Williams, Twitter founder (R) and

    Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Steps Down From Company’s Board

    Twitter co-founder Evan “Ev” Williams is stepping down from the company’s board, Twitter announced in a SEC filing Friday afternoon. Williams will depart from the board at the end of this month, according to the filing. “It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Ovano VPN App

    Responding to a continued backlash over its data collection practices, Facebook pulled the plug on its Ovano VPN app Friday. Ovano, which promised users an added level of privacy while using public Wifi hotspots, was used by Facebook for market research purposes. Facebook removed the app from the Google Play store Friday, and the company [...]

  • Smosh

    Smosh Acquired by Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment

    UPDATED: Smosh, the long-running YouTube comedy brand, has been acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning.” As first reported by Variety last week, Mythical emerged as the leading candidate to buy Smosh, which was left stranded after parent company Defy Media shut down without [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content