Industry On The Move: Google Glass Flourishes In The Enterprise

A New Version Of The AR Glasses For The Workplace

Steven Lerner

It’s normal for popular consumer technologies to eventually make its way to the enterprise. Failed consumer technologies rarely transfer to the workplace, but the case of Google Glass — which was shunned by consumers in 2015 — has proven that even unsuccessful consumer products could have a strong presence in the business world.

What Did Google Announce?

On May 20, Google unveiled its Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, the latest installment of its augmented reality (AR) smart glasses. It is immediately available for businesses and costs $999 (which is less than the $1,500 for the original consumer version and less than Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 at $3,500).

The glasses include a camera, a mini projector and magnifying glass that allow workers to view information and checklists. It also allows for users to quickly send photos or videos. The device is built with new frames that support rigorous worker environments in field service, which is good for employee safety.

When compared to the first edition of Google Glass Enterprise, this version offers several noticeable improvements. It is thicker and sports a larger 820mAh battery for an increased battery life. There’s even a new USB-C port that allows for quicker charging. The Google Glass Enterprise 2 features a new, high-quality camera that improves the user experience.

The device is built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform and incorporates an improved CPU and new artificial intelligence engine. The device also supports scaled deployments and management by making it easier for organizations to integrate it within current application programming interfaces. Additionally, the new device supports Android Enterprise Mobile Device Management.

“The new Google Glass 2 headset is a huge improvement over Gen 1 with significantly improved processing and design,” tweeted Consumer and Chip Tech Analyst Anshel Sag of Moor Insights and Strategy. “I wouldn't even put it in the same class as the original Glass.”

What This Means For The Enterprise

The release of the new Google Glass should be especially helpful for organizations in manufacturing, utilities, or any demanding field service sector. Serving as another example of an augmented reality device in the enterprise, it allows workers to access critical information or inspect images without the use of hands. It is could be part of a strategy that is focused on enhancing workplace efficiency.

As part of the release, Google highlighted successful use cases of the first generation with Deutsche Post DHL Group and Sutter Health. According to Google, the device contributed to faster production times, and lower costs.

From an IT perspective, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is easier to develop and deploy. This should help free up IT teams to focus on other pressing tasks.

The bigger picture is that this device represents the growing focus on AR applications in the enterprise. Just last week, Lenovo released its new AR platform and device. In the future, there will be more use cases of AR that extend beyond just field service. The technology is gradually becoming a staple in the enterprise, regardless of the industry or role.