The pundits might have declared Google Glass dead, but Google reportedly has other ideas.
The augmented-reality headset, alternatively praised during its short life as either a harbinger of the future or the ugliest fashion accessory of all time, is reportedly coming back as an enterprise-focused product. That would represent a pretty radical shift, as Google Glass was originally intended as a consumer device.
The consumer version of Glass, however, seemed at moments to have far more utility to businesses and industries than it did to ordinary folks. In late 2013, for example, a surgeon in Atlanta used Google Glass to remotely advise on a shoulder-replacement surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Within Google itself, executives and engineers debated about whether to focus their marketing efforts on the consumer or workplace audiences, with the former eventually winning out despite the obvious applications for the latter.
According to 9to5Google, the Google Glass “Enterprise Edition” will feature a bigger screen embedded in the right lens, a faster onboard processor, and improved battery life. The blog offered no release date or insight into details such as pricing, although it claimed to have verified the specs via several anonymous sources.
Those developers who spent time learning how to build commercial apps for glass might prove reluctant to work on an enterprise platform, if and when a new version of the hardware rolls out. But for those developers who work in very specialized industries that could benefit from an augmented-reality display, the reintroduction of Google Glass might be worth some attention.