google-glass-stock-image Google Glass Explorer Edition


Google Glass Explorer Edition

We told you last week that Google is internally referring to its next iteration of Google Glass as “Enterprise Edition” or “EE,” and now we’ve uncovered information about the soon-to-be-launched device’s hardware. According to several sources familiar with advanced prototypes of the device, the Enterprise Edition includes a larger prism display, as well as an Intel Atom processor that brings better performance and moderately improved battery life…

We’ve heard about a few Enterprise Edition prototypes since the beginning of the year, but there are a couple slightly different iterations of the device that are now being more widely tested. Google is introducing a larger prism that extends further, allowing the user to more comfortably look directly up rather than feeling the need to look up and to the right. The Explorer Edition was infamous for eye strain problems after prolonged use, and this change was likely made with that in mind.

It’s not yet clear if the actual screen resolution of the device has changed, although we’ve heard that the screen is “better” than the one found on the Explorer Edition. To give you an idea, here’s a rough photoshop comparison of the Explorer Edition prism versus that of the Enterprise Edition:

*[glass-closeup] (imported)-1.0 (RGB color, 2 layers) 1200x675 – GIMP 2015-07-08 08-04-11

Explorer Edition (left), vs. Enterprise Edition (right)

The Wall Street Journal reported in December of last year that the device would have a new low-power Intel chip designed to increase battery life, and we can confirm that this is definitely the case in the most recent internal revisions of the device. Specifically, the device has an Intel Atom chip, but it’s not yet clear which exact model. The chip is reportedly clocked somewhere moderately faster than current top-of-the-line Android Wear smartwatches.

Battery life is definitely improved, according to sources, but it’s only a modest improvement over the previous generation. Battery life was one of the biggest concerns for workplace applications with the Explorer Edition, and the Mountain View company isn’t going to let Enterprise Edition hit the workplace without at least some improvement. Also, heat management and overall performance of the new chip is notably better in the new version.

Perhaps interestingly in terms of battery, we’ve seen an Enterprise Edition device with a Google-made external battery pack. It’s not clear how much power this battery pack adds, but it’s likely that Google simply wants to offer the option of extended life for clients with specific use cases. Those familiar with the most recent prototypes say that while battery life is improved, it definitely needs supplementation for more intensive all-day use of some types of apps.

Last week, a device by the name of “A4R-GG1” was caught passing through the FCC. The device, while labeled simply as a Bluetooth device, includes support for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi on 2.4GHz and 5 GHz bands. We can independently confirm that the most recent revisions of Google Glass “Enterprise Edition” have support for the 5 GHz band, which was likely added to more robustly support the video streaming enterprise applications that have been so widely developed for Glass.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.