Google Glass today is aimed at the enterprise with various partners taking the hardware and building software for manufacturing and healthcare use cases. The latest example is from a company that’s added OCR image recognition software to turn Glass Enterprise Edition 2 into a dedicated assistive device.

Envision today offers a subscription Android — winning a Google Play Award last year — and iOS app that leverages AI and optical character recognition (OCR) to read printed text and describe scenes in the real-world through audio feedback. With Envision Glasses, the company embedded that technology into Google Glass for blind and low-vision users.

Compared to a phone, smart glasses offer an “unobtrusive and hands-free” experience that’s always physically accessible on your face. This fast access lets you read street signs in over 60 languages and even works on handwriting. Some recognition — like short text in Latin script — happens on-device, while document parsing requires a connection.

AI is leveraged to detect color and provide description, while it also recognizes barcodes. Another feature lets you scan around to find what you’re looking for, like keys and even people that have been programmed as “familiar faces.”

A feature specific to Google Glass is video calling with location information if the glasses can’t recognize a scene.

Envision closely partnered with Google after testing other smart glasses. It found that Glass offers the “best hardware to develop on” with the familiar Android foundation likely playing a big role. It features mono, USB, and Bluetooth audio to relay feedback, while the company touts all-day battery life with fast charging.

In addition to being a robust and comprehensive software platform, Google Glass also have a sleek and lightweight design, making them easy to wear around all day. We were able to design fluid and intuitive controls with a combination of touch and voice commands.

Interaction is possible via voice commands and three beamforming microphones, as well as swiping on the side touchpad. Lastly, there’s an 8MP camera with wide field-of-view. Envision created its own UI that’s optimized for audio cues, rather than visual ones.

Envision Glasses are available for pre-order today with availability expected August 2020. Early bird pricing starts at $1,699 and will later retail at $2,099. Compared to other Glass offerings, this is the first product that’s explicitly aimed at the public.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: