Google Glass is back in its second act and this edition is going corporate.
Alphabet X, Google’s Moonshot Factory, unveiled the Glass Enterprise Edition this week as a hands-free product marketed at hands-on workers.
Here are six things to know about the new edition:
What’s so different from the original Glass?
When it comes to the outside, the new edition essentially looks the same as Google’s original product.
But, according to CNET, Glass Enterprise Edition features a longer battery life, faster processor, 8-megapixel camera and more secure wireless connectivity.
It’s also more lightweight than the original and works with prescription lenses.
How is Glass Enterprise Edition helpful for workers?
According to Glass Project Lead Jay Kothari, workers in fields like healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and others where their hands are often occupied, can use the wearable device to obtain information.
For example, General Electric (GE) mechanics use the Glass to see instructions (videos and animations included) as they work.
According to Kothari, GE estimates they reduced errors and improved efficiency by 8 to 12 percent.
And, at agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO, the device has helped reduce production time by 25 percent and inspection times by 30 percent as workers consult their Glass Enterprise Edition wearables for checklists, instruction manuals and more.
Additionally, healthcare professionals at Dignity Health have used Glass to increase interaction with patients. Doctors at DH are able to look patients in the eye and converse with them using an application from Google Glass Partner company, Augmedix.
The same goes with doctors at Sutter Health, according to Kothari, where Dr. Albert Chan said doctors have reduced the time they spend on electronic medical record-keeping by an estimated two hours. The device, he said, “brought the joys of medicine back to my doctors,” because it allowed them to focus on their patients instead of on technology.
Does it have augmented reality features?
According to Wired, Google refers to Glass Enterprise as an “assisted reality” device, “a lightweight version of augmented reality” instead of a fully immersive AR product.
Who can buy Glass Enterprise Editions?
The product is only available through Google’s Glass Partners network, where companies can sign up to make versions of the Glass Enterprise Edition customized to their clients and workforce.
How many companies are part of the Glass Partners network?
According to Glass Project Lead Jay Kothari, more than 50 partners are currently using Enterprise Edition glasses, including Samsung, Upskill, Volkswagen, the Boeing Company, AGCO, NSF International, Sutter Health and more.
General Electric mechanics have also been using the specs, customized by Glass Partner Upskill, while conducting maintenance work.
How much does the new edition cost?
According to CNET, prices vary based on what kinds of customizations, support and training a company needs.