Google Glass struck out for masses but enterprise class has takers
My, have we grown. All eyes are on the Glass Enterprise Edition 2. with its hardware update and new frames. Google Glass has come a long way since its debut in 2013. As Scott Stein in CNET quipped, "You might remember Glass as a strange 2013 footnote."
TechCrunch reporter Lucas Matney referred to the "enterprise-refocused" handset (Google Glass Enterprise Edition was announced two years ago) now "graduating from the X moonshot factory" with an update that has added appeal for companies to try it out.
Fast Company saw three reasons to pay attention: new look, faster processor, brighter display.
The platform now runs on Android OS. Brandon Hill, HotHardware, noted the three beam-forming microphones onboard and a multi-touch gesture touchpad for navigating the UI.
However, the one feature that had all sites talking was the new edition's more SoC. Specifically, the new edition has the advantage of Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR1 platform (10nm, 1.7GHz quad-core CPU).
Lucas Matney in TechCrunch talked about the headset's transition to Qualcomm''s "AR/VR-focused XR1 chipset."
Jay Kothari, the Glass project Lead, wrote, "Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform, which features a significantly more powerful multicore CPU (central processing unit) and a new artificial intelligence engine. This enables significant power savings, enhanced performance and support for computer vision and advanced machine learning capabilities."
Google began pivoting Glass from a mass-market promotion to a tool for such workers as surgeons and factory personnel. Mark Sullivan in Fast Company referred to the glasses as having found a new home in facilities after getting off to a rough start in the consumer space. (Specifically, think manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, food service and field service industries.)
The business process for all this appears to be well-considered; it's not being sold directly to consumers. Business partners help make sure the Google Glass will adequately support their particular workflows. The enterprise buys the Glasses, app development and services from the partner as a package.
Glass devices and software solutions are sold and supported through Glass Partners. Sullivan: "The partner also acts as the integrator in these installations–managing the network connectivity, mobile device management, and back-end systems integration, as well as providing support and training."
Given that model, developers will play an important role in the Google Glass future. It runs on Android Open Source Platform which makes it quick and easy to develop on.
"Developers from various industries need to be able to create custom applications for Glass, and the new Enterprise Edition 2 should make that easier," said Ryan Whitwam, ExtremeTech. "Glass still runs Android with expanded API support, and the new version adds Android Enterprise Mobile Device Management."
Other features include better camera performance and USB-C connectivity.
But wait. "Enterprise" editions tease the question of what the technology actually brings to the table in a real work setting. For that answer, Sullivan''s discussion in Fast Company gets to the point. These, he said, were Google's identifications of the three main applications for Glass in the enterprise.
"The first is as an aid to remind employees of standard operating procedures, meaning the proper way to assemble a product or package it up for shipment. The second is an I-see-what-you-see scenario where a supervisor or an expert can look in on a person's work and give direction or advice...The third is an inspection use case where Glass shoots video and records audio notes during the wearer's inspection of a machine or property."
Kothari also addressed use cases and results. "Workers can use Glass to access checklists, view instructions or send inspection photos or videos, and our enterprise customers have reported faster production times, improved quality, and reduced costs after using Glass."
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