Reports of the demise of Google Glass have been greatly exaggerated. Google Glass, the wearable computer headset with the appearance of awkward high-tech safety glasses, has returned new and improved, but now it really can double as a pair of safety glasses.
Previously, “Glass,” the product formerly known as “Google Glass,” was sold to specially qualified developers, formally referred to as “Glass Explorers,” in the prototype “Explorer Edition” version in April of 2013. This beta-testing program ran for 2 years until Google announced that they would no longer be selling the prototype to the public.
The decision to stop selling the prototype was entirely unrelated to any of the controversies
surrounding privacy issues related to the use of the camera located on the smart glasses, or even because of the device’s hefty price tag of $1,500. Several months later, Google announced their intention to sell a more business friendly version of their smart glasses in the unspecified future, and since then, they have been unusually quiet about making any additional announcements.
The new version, known officially as the “Enterprise Edition,” was unveiled Tuesday as being “optimized for enterprise use,” and has actually already been available to about 50 companies for several months.
Following the end of the beta-testing program, the new enterprise program has reportedly included companies such as GE, DHL, and Volkswagen, all of whom have reportedly been using the device to improve the productivity of their workers. Each has seen huge gains in productivity during this program due to the benefits of workers being able to access checklists and instruction manuals on a heads-up display while operating heavy industrial machinery.
DHL, the commercial shipping company known for being neither FedEx nor UPS, reports improved order fulfillment, and plans to expand their usage to an additional 2000 warehouses.