glass enterprise edition

Earlier this year, we told you across several exclusive reports that new Glass hardware was in development, namely a variant of the device reworked with the enterprise in mind. Now, a couple months after getting our first look at the device in the flesh, a newly-granted Google patent provides us yet another look at the elusive remnant of a less than ideal Glass of the past…

Google’s next move for Glass is clearly into the enterprise via a device appropriately dubbed “Enterprise Edition”. The device has improved internal hardware, and a new button-and-hinge system made for working environments. As you can tell, the device isn’t a drastic departure from the previous Google Glass, but it does make some tweaks here and there. For instance, these images shows the new camera LED that lights up when the camera is in use.

We previously reported about the device’s internals including its Intel Atom processor, improved battery life, and improved “wireless connectivity” (which includes the addition of a 5 GHz WiFi band for video streaming applications). We also mentioned better heat management which is a result of the new chip, and its improved performance. There’s also a yet-to-be-seen Google-made external battery pack, which attaches to the device magnetically.

The device has a more robust build, a larger prism, and has a hinge that allows it to fold and is built to withstand bumps and bruises in the workplace. Additionally, the power button has been moved from its awkward location on the inside to the back of the device, and the front light comes on when the camera is being used. We also reported that the device is waterproof and closed-off, as to protect it from debris and other substances that may damage the hardware.

The following images (more below), which we can confirm are of the new Glass, are from US patent D749,074.

2016-02-16 09_56_30-Patent Images

While it’s still yet to be seen what Google has planned for this enterprise model, it seems likely at this point that it may never be officially recognized to exist. While we have been told by sources that there are “thousands” of this new model floating around in the wild, it seems Google would rather keep this quiet rather than give “Glassholes” a hope that the project will be revived for consumers. Recently, Google shut down the Google Glass social media accounts completely, suggesting that the “Glass” name has officially been retired.

Google says that the group that was once the Glass team has now been morphed to be under the umbrella of the new “Project Aura,” which was recently made official. Aura purportedly includes the development of the above “Enterprise Edition” Glass model, as well as two head-mounted devices that are primarily audio-based. These two audio-based devices reportedly use bone conduction just like Google Glass, but notably go without the screen.

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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.