Google Glass Resurrected for Vertical Markets

Posted on July 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile with 18 Comments

Google Glass Resurrected for Vertical Markets

Alphabet today announced the return of Glass, which is dropping the Google name and targeting vertical business markets like manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare.

“After two years in a limited program, Glass Enterprise Edition is now available to more businesses through our network of expert partners,” Glass project lead Jay Kothari writes. “Based on the positive feedback we’ve received from customers in a special program we’ve been running for the past two years, we’re now making Glass Enterprise Edition available to more businesses through our network of partners.”

What this means is that Glass, unlike its predecessor, Google Glass, no longer targets a hip if creepy market for Glassholes, individuals who walk out in public with these terrible devices and terrorize others virtually. This is a smart move on a number of levels, though it’s also a smaller potential market, and more akin to Microsoft’s approach with HoloLens.

“Workers in many fields, like manufacturing, logistics, field services, and healthcare find it useful to consult a wearable device for information and other resources while their hands are busy,” Kothari explains, further channeling the HoloLens playbook. “That’s why we’ve spent the last two years working closely with a network of more than 30 expert partners to build customized software and business solutions for Glass for people in these fields. We’ve also made improvements to the design and hardware so that it’s lightweight and comfortable for long term wear. We’ve increased the power and battery life too.”

Kothari cites a laundry list of customers that are using the new Glass, and, in thinking about this, it occurs that such a solution is a much better option for most than the bulky HoloLens.

News that Alphabet—really, Alphabet’s “moon shot” division, called X—has been secretly working on improving this reviled product for two years is obviously surprising. But it’s clear that they’ve found a use for it. And as its one that doesn’t include leering, tech-starved idiots, I’m OK with it.


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