Google, the multinational technology mogul, is widely known not only for its search engine but equally, for an array of cutting-edge physical products. To the great grief of tech aficionados, some innovative ideas (like Project Ara) are hung up for good before even reaching a wider public.
The story of Google Glass is a tad more complicated but to keep it short we’ll just recall that the tech giant first presented a wearable device for everyday use. The spectacles with AR and VR capabilities premiered in 2013 and after receiving a great deal of criticism due to privacy concerns were discontinued shortly. Four years after the controversial launch, in mid-2017, Google announced the Google Glass Enterprise Edition. In 2019, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 was released.
The enterprise version has a similar design to the initial device, differing mostly by integrating the display with the frame. The device, developed by Google and manufactured by Foxconn, is one of the lightest pieces of wearable technology. Made with titanium, 60% lighter than iron, and highly robust, the frame is barely noticeable by the user.
The assisted reality device is a monocular smart glass with a full-color display placed on the right side of the frame, slightly above the field of vision. The transparent display uses a prism for transparency, allowing the user to look through it during operations. Google designers’ goal was to create a tool to facilitate efficient work without distracting professionals from their surroundings. Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 can be controlled by swiping on the side of the frame and using voice commands. The device has on-head detection and eye-on screen sensors to extend battery life when not in active use.
The Enterprise Edition 2 is sold in pieces, the Glass Pod (the electronic part of the unit) and the frame separately. As a result, purchasers can buy frames with e.g. prescription lenses to match their needs. The Pod and frame are convenient to connect and detach by using built-in hinges.
The device benefits from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 resulting in better performance compared to the previous model. Running on the Android Open Source Platform, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is easy and fast to develop for.
|Display||640 pixel x 360 pixel RGB|
|Field of view||83° diagonal field of view|
|Operating system||Android Open Source Project 8.1 (Oreo)|
|System-on-Chip||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1|
|Memory/storage||3GB LPDDR4 / 32GB eMMC Flash|
|Microphones||3 near field beam-forming microphones|
|Voice control||Built-in voice recognition|
|Battery||800 mAh (2880 C)|
|Physical buttons||Camera button doubling as the release switch to detach the Pod from the frame, on/off button, selection button|
|Mounting||Smart glasses (resting on users’ ears like regular glasses)|
The device gives users the ability to integrate instructions in real-time, allowing for efficient hands-free work in a dynamic, ever-changing environment. In cases where premade, created beforehand tutorials won’t suffice, Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 makes processes less time-consuming and more efficient. The content is displayed right above the natural line of sight for ergonomic, efficient complementation to the outside world.
Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is successfully used to live stream meetings. With the possibility to record and stream meetings, the device helps to save time on documenting and reviewing the course of events. The feature is effectively used in e.g. healthcare. Industries such as manufacturing (especially assembly lines and other areas with mild working conditions) and logistics are other examples of fields where the device is highly useful. Displayed instructions help workers on the floor of warehouses while completing orders and assembling parts.
Due to its lightweight, the Glass can be used for day-long shifts without causing fatigue or discomfort. However, energy-consuming operations may require an external battery to withstand 8 hours of constant work. On the downside, the device doesn’t include a hot-swappable battery. As a consequence, changing the power source involves turning the Glass off.
To an extent, the Enterprise Edition 2 can act as safety glasses, unless heavy-duty protection is required.
While the first attempt of Google Glass was not successful for the tech giant, the Enterprise Editions have gained recognition. Targeting the devices for professional use was a good strategic decision, which proves the development of the second, enhanced version. Sleek, convenient, and lightweight, the Glass is now a trustworthy companion to industrial workers, supporting them in daily tasks.
Due to a transition from an Intel processor to a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1, the 2nd Edition of Google Glass noted an increase in computing power. Followed by bigger memory, the device handles more and more demanding tasks and applications.
Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is water and dust-resistant, but its qualities and a rather delicate construction don’t make it a heavy-duty piece. The IP53 standard guarantees resistance to water sprays and limited dust ingression. As a result, the Glass is not advised for usage in the most demanding environments, where it would be exposed to damage. Despite the fact the device can be fully voice-controlled, in noisy environments speech recognition may not be sufficient for satisfactory performance.
The Glass may have a negative impact on the comfort of users who have undergone laser sight correction in the past. In such cases, consulting a health professional prior to choosing a wearable AR device may be necessary.
The sleek and modernist approach to AR wearable devices is not what your industry needs? There are plenty of options to choose from.
You can benefit from augmented reality in daily operations using smartphones and tablets at the very start of your digital transformation. If your industry involves working in the harshest conditions, RealWear Navigator™ 500 may be the right solution. The field of industrial AR devices is dynamically growing, delivering new equipment and dedicated software to choose from.
Still not convinced? Let us know! Book your 14-day free trial and try out both, the AR platform and a device picked to suit your industry.