Google Resurrects One of Its Worst Product Flops

Glass Enterprise Edition claims to boost productivity in factories
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2017 9:17 AM CDT
Google Resurrects One of Its Worst Product Flops
Google's Glass Enterprise Edition is shown here.   (X)

Astro Teller, who runs Google's X division, admits the company "got more than a little off track" with Google Glass. One of the most-hyped products of 2013 fell flat, becoming a footnote in the history of wearable tech, reports Wired. But don't count it out yet. After two years of testing, Google has released a new version, the Glass Enterprise Edition, with a faster processor, faster WiFi, longer battery life, an improved camera, and—to soothe critics—a light that tells onlookers when video is being recorded. All this to help boost productivity in factories and warehouses. Details:

  • Major companies such as GE, Boeing, DHL, and Volkswagen have tried out the Glass EE and seen "huge gains in productivity and noticeable improvements in quality," per Wired, which looks at how the device is used in a factory that produces farm equipment.
  • In a blog post, Jay Kothari of X explains how EE delivers real-time instructions, keeping workers focused, and their hands busy, on a given task. This video shows how it can affect productivity.

  • TechCrunch explains a key improvement is that the module can be attached to any kind of eyewear, including prescription glasses and safety goggles.
  • Motherboard talks to early adopters who have varying opinions on the device. Some, at least, are intrigued.
  • At CNET, Scott Stein notes Google Glass as a business-specific device is "a lot less off-putting" than the previous version and suddenly "seems incredibly, boringly normal."
  • It's likely to become even more so. A Forrester Research report out last year predicted there will be more than 14 million US workers wearing smart glasses by 2025.
  • That doesn't mean Google Glass won't have other uses. Teller says Google is "open-minded about where it's going to go," adding that "none of us have given up on the idea that over time Glass will become less and less intrusive, and that more and more people will use it."
  • Want to try it for yourself? Glass EE is only available through X's 12 partner companies.
(More Google Glass stories.)

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