Google Glass is back — though you still can’t buy a pair.
Announced today (May 20), the new Enterprise Edition of Google’s augmented reality glasses costs $999 and comes fitted with a more powerful and longer lasting processor, a USB Type-C port for faster charging and a better camera.
Google is continuing to offer Glass exclusively to businesses — a strategy the company adopted after the original Glass headset met resistance over privacy concerns and was subsequently discontinued for the public back in 2015. In the intervening years since, Glass has found various commercial uses in industries where wearable computing is beneficial, from manufacturing to healthcare.
With the release of Enterprise Edition 2, Google has moved the Glass project out of the purview of its X division and will now develop Glass under the Google brand. On the outside, the new model doesn’t look notably different from the one that launched six years ago — all graphics and information are projected over a prism, occupying a small portion of your field of vision. However, Glass can now be configured with safety lenses courtesy of Smith Optics, if the particular application necessitates it.
MORE: Why Microsoft's HoloLens 2 Is a Big Step Forward
The bulk of changes are under the hood. The new Glass is built on Android, which Google says will make the headset easier to develop for, since it incorporates the same APIs as its mobile OS. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 chipset should both improve longevity on a charge and enable more sophisticated machine learning capabilities and AR effects.
While there’s no sign Google will go back on its commercial focus just yet, the growth of Glass in professional spheres has breathed new life into the project, and clearly energized the company to keep iterating upon it. Interested businesses and developers can reach out to Google today to secure theirs.
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