As the tech world patiently waits for the advent of mainstream consumer smartglasses, Google is content to stick to the business world (for now).
Nearly two years after refocusing Glass on the business sector with its Enterprise Edition, on Monday, Google unveiled the sequel to its smartglasses, which run on Android and Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR1 chipset designed for augmented reality wearables.
The upgrade to Snapdragon XR1 makes Glass more energy efficient and improves performance, in addition to providing a dedicated artificial intelligence engine for machine learning and computer vision processing.
"Using technologies like computer vision and AR, our team's focus has been on building helpful experiences that provide useful information in context," said Clay Bavor, vice president of virtual and augmented reality, in a statement provided to Next Reality. "Glass Enterprise Edition 2 does just that, and we're excited to give businesses and their employees tools to them help work better, smarter, and faster."
The next generation of Glass, which cost $999, also boasts iterative upgrades to the camera, the addition of a USB-C port for quicker charging, and support for Android Enterprise Mobile Device Management to enable IT departments to easily deploy software to their fleet of devices.
Google has also partnered with Smith Optics to offer three styles of safety frames that fit Glass.
Since emerging with the Enterprise Edition, Google has lined up customers such as AGCO, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Sutter Health, and H.B. Fuller.
"With the second generation of Glass Enterprise Edition, we can now provide our customers and employees with even more powerful, technically optimized smart glasses," said Markus Voss, COO and CIO, DHL Supply Chain.
"The possibility of object recognition is also particularly promising for us in industrial applications. With the corresponding software, it is no longer just possible to read out barcodes, locate products and display the corresponding storage compartment; in future, also complex objects can be identified with the smart glasses. We expect this to lead to further productivity increases from which our employees and our customers will benefit equally."
While Google isn't the only smartglasses maker catering to the enterprise sector, the company is arguably the most recognizable. Glass may not have taken off with consumers, but it's right at home at the workplace, and Google is working to build on that foundation as the enterprise AR space heats up.
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