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 on 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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Don’t believe the unbelievers; Google Glass is alive and well

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After seeing the countless doomsday articles over the last couple of weeks, I can’t help but wonder whether or not Google regrets the way they announced the retirement of the Glass Explorer Program and graduation of Glass out of Google[x]. The headline of the announcement, reading “We’re graduating from Google[x] labs” was nothing like the headlines of those that reported the news. Instead of reporting that the device was “graduating” out of Google’s experimental product lab and into its own division (under Tony Fadell’s leadership no less), headlines reported of Glass being a “failed innovation,” as being “killed off,” and blatantly called the project “dead”.

Google didn’t say any of these things. Sure, there is absolutely room to criticize various aspects of the Explorer Program, but Google is moving on from that. That’s what this announcement was about. Google has decided to put all of its resources and focus into the next generation of the Glass project, and meanwhile the world is claiming its demise before what’s next has even been seen. I understand that many objections against Glass are moreso objections against head-worn computing in general, but arguments claiming the overall death of the augmented reality experiment I believe are also premature. And not only is augmented and holographic head-worn computing not dead, but evidence points to it being on the brink of a very real evolution.

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Google ending its Glass Explorer program ahead of new version under Tony Fadell’s leadership

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Update: Google has made an official blog post detailing the changes to the Glass project. More information below.

It looks like Google may finally be preparing Glass for primetime as a number of changes around the company’s heads-up display product were revealed today. Most notably, the Glass project will be moving from the experimental Google X group to its own unit under the leadership of Tony Fadell, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Next of note, Google will end the current run of its Glass Explorers program on January 19th, removing the current version of Glass from sale to individuals; however, the WSJ includes that businesses and developers interested in purchasing Glass can still do so through an application process. The Glass at Work program, which has continued to grow, will live on beyond the Explorer Program’s imminent demise. Read more

Google Glass might have a chance in healthcare: Augmedix raises another $16 million

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Healthcare seems to be one area in which Google Glass is just irresistibly great. Doctors, after all, aren’t unfamiliar with wearable tech to help them with their job; they already wear stethoscopes on a daily basis. Adding Glass to the mix brings new possibilities for more efficient patient care as well as a better work day for doctors, and Augmedix—one of the first Glass at Work partners—knows more about using Glass in medicine than any other company. Today, Augmedix announced that they’ve scored another $16 million in Series A funding.

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Google’s Sergey Brin spotted at CES trying out Glass competitor Epson Moverio

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Google might not have an official presence as an exhibitor at CES, but it does have its people on the ground checking out the new products from both its partners and competitors. That includes top Googler Sergey Brin who was spotted in the photo above via +Tim Moore on Google+.

Moore works with Rochester Optical, the company behind the lenses used in the Epson Moverio smart glasses Brin is trying in the photo. Rochester Optical also previously announced plans to build accessories for Google Glass as well, Google’s own smart glasses and competitor to the Epson Moverio BT-200 that launched last year for $699. Read more

Startups like kiddoEMR could change lives using Google tech, but this one desperately needs Google Glass 2.0

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Dr. Joseph “Joe” Cohen has been a pediatrician for 15 years, and he saw a need in the medical workplace. Current EMR (electronic medical record) solutions are ridiculously expensive, antiquated, offer little support for pediatrics, and require hours of rigorous training before doctors can use them to efficiently document and organize patient information. Seeing this, Dr. Joe (as his young patients call him) developed a pediatric solution of his own, and deployed an early version in his own practice, Cedar Park Pediatrics, with the added bonus of bringing down the average cost of processing patients from $58 to around $20 per visit.

And while the system is of course platform-agnostic for the most part, Google technologies like Chrome and Glass are a key players in the kiddoEMR product despite downfalls that Dr. Joe says make the current generation of the latter completely impractical for the workplace. The system of course will mostly be interacted with via an in-browser interface on a desktop computer, but Glass provides some robust functionality that would make it a no-brainer for pediatricians. Doctors like Joe, though, need to be able to use their hands, and the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true when diagnosing patients.

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