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Enterprise breathes new life to Google Glass

Posted: 28 Jan 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Google? Google Glass? smart glass? APX Labs?

Google may have seemed ready to let go of its consumer Glass project when it recently disconnected its social media accounts for Google Glass. That decision built on the earlier move to halt its Explorer programme, which consequently meant the death of the Google Glass consumer initiative.

The glasses struggled to gain favour among consumers, with their steep $1,500 price tag and no clear purpose for them other than messaging friends and family, and checking stock prices and sports scores. Google's enterprise efforts for Glass, though, seem to be expanding.

Last month, for example, Google filed documents with the Federal Communications Commission, in which it revealed new drawings for Google Glass 2. This filing appeared to bolster a Wall Street Journal report over the summer that Google was having healthcare, manufacturing and energy-related companies testing out a new and improved version of Google Glass.

On Sunday, 9to5Google cited in a report, "multiple people familiar with the matter say that Glass: Enterprise Edition is only just now starting to see wider adoption."

There are 10 certified partners listed on the Google Glass at Work page, which showcases some of the ways these organisations are using Glass in their products and services.

Google Glass

Google is reported to having healthcare, manufacturing and energy-related companies test out an improved version of Google Glass. (Image: John Barnett/iStockphoto)

APX Labs, for example, develops software for smart glasses. It believes the value of smart glasses can be found in delivering information hands-free to workers and allowing them to keep their heads up while working. Late last year, APX received $13 million in venture funding for its enterprise platform for smart glasses, according to an APX announcement.

Meanwhile, Augmedix uses Google Glass in the healthcare field, in which doctors wear Google Glass while treating patients and a remote scribe viewing audio and video from the Glass enters information into that patient's electronic health records, which the doctor later reviews before it is submitted to the patient's chart.

Ian Shakil, Augmedix CEO and cofounder, said his company's growth has risen dramatically since its founding in 2012, and demand for Google Glass has also increased tenfold over the past year. He noted that Augmedix has had no trouble getting orders filled.

"Google paused its consumer-facing Explorer programme [...] but our supply of Glass remained unaffected," Shakil indicated. "Google has publicly stated they are committed to the Glass platform."

Although Shakil could not address his familiarity with Google's plans for Glass, he did comment on the various drawings of Google Glass that he has seen in the media over the past month or so.

"Google Glass Explorer, as we know it, was made for consumers, but adopted by the enterprise," Shakil said. "All the [drawings in the media] show incredible improvements."

The original consumer design ran on only 2GHz, and it ran hot. But in viewing some of the media reports that featured drawings of Google Glass reportedly submitted to the FCC, Shakil said they move the needle with improved networking capacity, a more modernised CPU and better thermal changes. "Those are the things that we get excited about."

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