It’s no secret that Google Glass did not exactly become the worldwide phenomenon that we all thought it would. Aside from their most obvious downside, which was that they immediately made their wearer look absolutely ridiculous, they tended to cause unnecessary eye strain and their battery life was less than impressive. Until earlier this year when rumors started to circle, most of the internet gurus that predict these things (myself included) thought that Google Glass was, effectively, dead. But now thanks to “several sources familiar with advanced prototypes of the device” via the tech blog 9to5Google, we are getting a closer look at what we can expect from Google’s second foray into the Glass world with the prototype that has internally been dubbed the “Enterprise Edition”.
The first notable upgrade you’ll see in the Enterprise Edition is to the display. Google is introducing a larger prism that extends even further than its predecessor, which will allow the user to more comfortably look upwards. One of the biggest complaints with using the original Explorer Edition was that one had to perform sort of an upward side-eye glance to achieve this, and it became infamous for causing eye strain after repeating the action over extended periods of time. There is no official word yet on how the screen resolution itself has changed, but sources confirm that it is definitely “better” than in the Explorer Edition. The other big upgrade that the internal camp at Google has confirmed is the new Intel Atom chip that is to be included in the second generation device. While the actual chip model has yet to be confirmed, it was chosen to increase battery life as well as provide better heat management and overall performance in the new version. Lastly, we now know that Google has recently submitted a filing to the FCC for a device with the model name “A4R-GG1” that supports Wi-Fi up to 802.11ac, Bluetooth LE, uses rechargeable batteries, and comes with a USB cable for “charging and data transfer” when connected to a PC, plus dual-band support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless channels. Could this be the forthcoming Enterprise Edition?
Google is not officially confirming anything, but according to the rumor mill we could see the newest incarnation of Google’s augmented reality technology as early as 2016 – just not for fun. The next version of Glass appears to be geared towards Google for Work, a program for people using Android on the job. They are even experimenting with an external battery pack that could fit in the user’s pocket and potentially extend the battery life of the glasses, making them a more feasible application for the enterprise space where they would likely be worn all day.
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