Google partners with Johnson & Johnson to build advanced surgical robots

A surgeon uses Google Glass during an operation

Google has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson-owned Ethicon to help create more advanced robotics technology for surgical use, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Mountain View tech giant hopes to tackle the software side of the issue by creating machine vision technology to help doctors more easily guide and control surgical equipment.

Google has been pushing further into the areas of medicine, health, and fitness in recent years, with entire divisions in its Google X lab focused on creating technology like nanobots that can detect cancer. The Glass project has also been integrated into some surgical procedures and other medical applications.

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Lasting impact: 5 groups that are still doing important things with Google Glass

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The Google Glass Explorer program ended somewhat abruptly in January, and this didn’t come as much surprise to the Glass-bashing media nor those who tried the device for their own consumer use. In these situations, where Glass was a privacy nightmare and an underpowered gadget, the head-mounted wearable display would appear to be a failed piece of consumer technology (and Google’s Astro Teller believes that allowing this mindset to spread was one of the project’s biggest failures).

And it’s true. The first-generation of Google Glass might not really bring much value to the daily lives of most people, and it’s definitely not close to being socially acceptable quite yet. But many companies and organizations that adopted the experimental $1,500 spectacles for specific use cases weren’t so quick to dismiss the device. In fact, there are many groups—even now, after the Explorer program has ended—who are still doing some exciting things with it.

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Talking Schmidt: Google Glass is a long-term project, too important to scrap

Eric Schmidt

If you’ve been following the facts behind the situation with Glass, you know that the project is not seen as even close to being dead within the Mountain View company. Despite the Explorer Program being shut down earlier this year, Google clearly sees potential in the platform. And according to comments recently made by Google’s Eric Schmidt, Glass is just far too important to scrap… Read more

Alive and well: Google posts several new Google Glass engineering jobs on LinkedIn

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Google has really been shaking up the Glass project since it was graduated out of the experimental Google[x] lab and placed in its own division under Tony Fadell. We exclusively reported in February that Google was mixing up the Glass engineering team amidst this leadership shift, but that story focused mostly on the engineers that were being moved off the team to work in other Google divisions. Now we have further confirmation that the Mountain View company is indeed bringing on some fresh talent, as several job listings for Glass engineers have been posted to LinkedIn… Read more

Google shuffling engineers on Glass project, ‘new team’ developing next version under leadership change

A lot of movement has been happening on the Glass team this month in Mountain View. In January, the project graduated out of the company’s Google[x] experimental projects lab and into the hands of ex-iPod-head Tony Fadell—although still being lead more directly by Google’s Head of Glass Ivy Ross. But with this change, it appears as if Google is doing—as is fairly common at the company—a bit of shuffling in the engineers who are working on the project…

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Google already seeding early next-gen Google Glass prototypes to select partners

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Google Glass has been getting slammed by the media since it was announced that the Explorer Program was being shuttered, with countless outlets claiming that the project is simply dead in the water. I’ve already told you on a couple different occasions why this isn’t the case, but now we have more confirmation that Glass isn’t dead yet (beyond Google simply telling us that they’re “excited” to be working on something). Google has given—and continues to give—a select group of its coveted Glass at Work partners very early versions of the next iteration of the device to test and develop for, according to several sources… Read more

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Google Glass: ‘We always thought it would flop’

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As Apple prepares to bring its new smartwatch to the market, an extensive profile of Jony Ive from The New Yorker (you can find more over at 9to5Mac) has revealed how the Cupertino company sees Google Glass. But it wasn’t Ive, Apple’s design head, that made the comments. Rather, Apple CEO Tim Cook was very straightforward in saying that Google’s head-mounted display was putting a wearable in “the wrong place,” and that “glasses were not a smart move.” Read more

Astro Teller: Google is making a modest return on its experimental lab investment

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Google X boss Astro Teller spoke with the New York Times on the topic of the experimental lab and the value it produces for the company, saying that the X lab’s goal is to find new technology markets that the Mountain View company can jump into and problems it can solve.

According to Teller, Google gives X projects a longer period of time in which to prove they can become profitable. He specifically highlights the “Neural Network Project” (previously known as Google Brain) as one project that has turned a serious profit. In fact, Brain is now bringing in enough “value” to offset the costs of running the entire X lab, Teller says:

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Google reportedly won’t release the next version of Glass until it’s ‘perfect’

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Google has said repeatedly since the company graduated the project out of Google[x] that new iterations of Glass will indeed be coming at some point in the future, and that the team behind the wearable display device is still “committed to Glass.” But how is Google going to approach the product going forward?

According to an adviser to Tony Fadell (the previous Apple product executive who now oversees the project), the device is not going to get the same public experimentation treatment that the first version did, and Fadell won’t be releasing the next version of Glass until it’s “perfect.”

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Don’t believe the unbelievers (Part 2); Google Glass has succeeded through Glass at Work

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Dr. Tad Vail of UCSF at the kickoff of CrowdOptic’s medical solution

This is part two of my series on the state of Google Glass. Be sure to read the first part of this series where I explain the truth of Google’s official stance on where the device is headed.

Google Glass has an uncertain future, but there are many things we can learn from the past two years. While the general public is holding it to the standard of being a consumer product (and has watched it flop), the Explorer Edition Glass saw amazing accomplishments and successes elsewhere: in the workplace. Many startups—dubbed by Google as the “Glass at Work” partners—have seen the device become a major contributor to their business, and one company in particular, CrowdOptic, has seen extraordinary success working with seven Fortune 500 companies that represent more than $1 trillion in market capitalization.

Although the Glass team definitely missed some hurdles as mentioned in Thursday’s Q4 earnings call, the experimental device definitely has legs (and it’s not just because Google says so)…

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Google confirms it will continue accepting Glassware as it reevaluates Glass developer experience

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Google Glass is definitely in limbo right now, but as I talked about earlier this week, it’s far too early to say that the project is dead in the water. Those of us that had consumer interest in the project are curious enough about what the future might hold, but what about those who have been investing in development for the platform for two years now? Google—unsurprisingly—says there’s still value in developing for Glass, but also that some changes to the developer experience are incoming…

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Google CFO: Google Glass team missed hurdles, needed a fresh strategy

A visitor is testing the new Google Glasses at the international fair for digital economy 'NEXT Berlin 2013' in Berlin, Germany, 24 April 2013.  NEXT Berlin 2013 is an international trade for which serves as a platform of digital innovations from the worl

The Google Q4 2014 earnings call is happening right now, and Google CFO Patrick Pichette took a second to speak about projects that miss their goals and how Google asks them to “take a pause” to reset their strategy. Google Glass, and the recent decision to graduate the project out of Google [x] was used as an example of one of these situations…

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