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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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Google Glass Resurrected for Vertical Markets”

  1. Narg

    I personally have no desire to use one. But the "terror" thing I find funny. Is the terror in the user of the device or those that make a big deal over nothing? If you're doing something in public to be ashamed of, why do it?

    At some point you won't be able to tell when someone is using a device like this... That'll terrorize you :)

    Anyway, in a business environment I could see a device like this having a lot of great uses. Imagine a Doctor using a set to collaborate with other Doctors during a procedure. Or a tech using one to assist work on repairs or development production. I hope they continue to move forward on this project.

  2. rameshthanikodi

    LOL, remember back when Google hyped Glass up so much and all the attendees at Google I/O were wearing this thing proudly? Ah, times that I won't miss.

  3. dcdevito

    I always found the concept great for emergency gas location services, like for utilities. I had the idea when I worked for a utility years ago and still think it's a great idea. Overlay a map based on GPS data into real sight (augmented reality) and keep it all hands free for safety and convenience.

  4. skane2600

    Vertical markets? Does that mean you have to tilt your head 90 degrees to use it?

  5. 1024freeman

    Ha! Maybe Belichik will be happier with Glass EE instead of Surface. No fat fingers needed, just Glass Go, replay that Cowboys practice play.

  6. Mark from CO


    To those who think Microsoft has an unassailable enterprise market position, Google's tortoise strikes again. You may or may not think this is worthwhile, but the persistence Google has demonstrated in the consumer market will also work in the enterprise market. It's a persistence, and strength of focus, that Microsoft seemingly lacks.

    Google is coming to your local big and small businesses. Is Microsoft really ready? Google wants to usurp the King. I'm not sure the King realizes the difficult war he faces, nor do I think he is very well prepared.

    Mark from CO

    • CrazedVic

      In reply to Mark from CO:

      Does Paul ever respond to premium member comments? I see Brad does, but Paul?

      • Mark from CO

        In reply to VancouverNinja:

        What’s your point, or just trolling? 

        My point is that Microsoft is in for the fight for its life. Glass is just one example where Google is making significant inroads into the Enterprise, what one thinks of as Microsoft’s last stronghold. Docs is another example, as is Education (yes, it is enterprise). And yes, Google has a world class AI effort underway. 

        You can view Glass as a ‘one off,’ but Google has its eye clearly on business. Many think this is fanciful, perhaps you as well. Microsoft is no longer the feared juggernaut it once was, in fact, competitively it can be argued that Google, Apple and perhaps Amazon are better prepared for future market battles than is Microsoft.

        These seeming unrelated articles all point to a Microsoft whose strategy seems insufficient for the competitive threats it faces.

        Mark from CO

          • IanYates82

            In reply to VancouverNinja:

            Didn't seem too unusual to me. Fair points made... I guess it mixed enterprise and emotion which isn't too common, but MS really does need to step up, communicate and deliver more. Say why they're better. Follow through. Etc

            • VancouverNinja

              In reply to IanYates82:

              A post about a failed product trying to follow in the footsteps of HoloLens turns into a rant against MS? It's a bit much.

              While it upsets people that MS doesn't currently telegraph everything it is up to they are finally playing the game right for once. This is the long game and they are working on the proper solution.

              Microsoft has a very clear product road map they are working from. It is not something they can talk about until it is finished and why should they? A good example is the Cortana home based Speaker system - they are not launching until fall when they have the underpinnings to make it competitive. People who think this is too late don't understand that this segment is extremely nascent and will not be won, or even remotely close to being won, by this years end. Under estimating what MS is up to over the near future is a mistake in both the consumer and business segments.

  7. mortarm

    "Glassholes". Too funny.