In January, Google had a back to the drawing board moment with Google Glass. It shut down its Glass Explorer program, took the product off the market, and began to restructure the whole thing. Google gave the reins to Next CEO Tony Fadell, and moved the project of the Google X lab and gave it its own division. At the time, we all knew that Google Glass as we all knew it was dead, but everyone at Google was adamant that Glass itself was far from dead.
“It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google,” said Google chairman Eric Schmidt. “We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn’t true. Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it. That’s like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now, These things take time.”
If Google hasn’t given up on Glass, which it certainly doesn’t look like it has, the next question is this: what will Glass 2.0 look like? And who is Google’s most important market for Glass? Retail? Or enterprise?
A new report from 9to5 Google suggests that Google is going all in on Glass as an enterprise venture.
Apparently, Glass hasn’t been altered that much – except to make it make durable and fucntional in a workplace environment. From 9to5 Google:
The device, similar to the Explorer Edition, has a band that stretches around the forehead, going back around the left ear. What’s most obviously new at first glance is a robust hinge mechanism that allows the computer and battery modules to fold down like a regular pair of glasses, and a hinge for folding down the left side of the band as well.
The overall design of the computer side is more robust as well, built to withstand normal drops and bumps that could occur in less-than-ideal workplace environments. Sources have also said that the device is more water resistant, built with fewer places for water and other outside material to seep in. And, as to be expected from a device built for the workplace, Google has tweaked its visual aesthetic to better fit in a factory or a hospital than on a runway. It’s practical and industrial, with a focus on function over fashion.
It looks like Google is finally accepting that Glass is never going to be high fashion.
According to sources, Google is planning on distributing the new Glass exclusively through the Glass for Work program, which means it might not be available to the average Joe. The last time Google simply put a price tag on Glass and opened it up to the public at large, things didn’t go well.
Image via Google Glass, Facebook