There are two design directions Glass 2 can go, and there are rumours that suggest Google is doing both. The Glass at Work programme and many of the most recent leaks and rumours suggest that this is an enterprise device. His rumour came about from a patent application describing tech similar to Google Glass version 1, but with different adjustable mounts, including ones for clothing, with the display attached via magnets. This suggests that Glass will not, in fact be radically redesigned to be fashionable, stylish or have mainstream social appeal. If it’s for workplace use, whether in a warehouse or an operating theater, function remains far more important than form. With Fadell partnering with jewelry designer Ivy Ross as well as Luxottica, it had initially seemed that Google was aiming to make the next Google Glass more of a fashion piece, for street and dinner wear. The most likely explanation: Google is working on both an Enterprise Edition and a style one. The negative public reaction to the original Glass makes it seem more likely to us that the Enterprise Edition is the one Google really wants to crack. There are ready-made markets for it in business and the look of the device, plus its supposedly privacy-invading qualities become less problematic in the workplace.
Specifications and Features
Google will reportedly ditch Texas Instruments in favour of Intel as a chip provider. This should improve the battery life of Google Glass which has been a problem so far. The WSJ says: “it isn’t clear what Intel chip Google will use in the new version of Glass, but there will be an emphasis on power conservation”. Not only does Intel make decent chips, it may be a good deal for Google in terms of promotion. Intel will likely go full steam ahead when it backs something, like it has done with Ultrabooks.More recently, the WSJ has reported that there will be an all-new button-and-hinge design that allows Google Glass 2 to snap on to other glasses. It’s aimed at business- rather than home users. 9to5Mac has also reported on the new design for Google Glass 2, suggesting that the Enterprise Edition is “foldable, more water-resistant and rugged for the workplace”. It also claims there will be longer battery life, improved performance and a larger prism for a fuller viewing experience of the Glass interface. Another source said that less than five percent of the 300 Google employees working on Glass focus on the company’s Glass at Work programme. However, the Intel push to industry will not change Google’s bias towards the consumer market. Intel is winning more and more partnerships in the mobile space with many recent smartphones and tablets coming with Atom processors. It has been working with Google on projects such as self-driving cars and the Nexus Player.
Google Glass comes with a 5-megapixel camera capable of shooting clear images and recording 720p video. We used Glass to snap some photos around our office and Union Square, finding results that were comparable to a lower-end smartphone. In a close-up photo of our co-worker’s face, skin tone and detail looked sharp and accurate. However, when closely examining the photo, we noticed that the brighter sections of the image looked slightly blown out. An image of a tree with buildings in the backdrop in Union Square looked decent, but it was lacking vibrant color. The true benefit that Glass offers photographers is the ability to shoot first-person photos and videos. Because you’re actually looking through a display, this means that the camera viewfinder is on at all times. So whenever you say “OK, Glass, take a picture,” the device captures what you’re looking at instead of launching a camera app.
Release Date and Price
There’s still a chance we’ll get an official unveiling in 2015, but Google I/O in May 2016 seems the earliest plausible date to us. When it was still available through the Explorer Program, the original Glass cost a hefty sum of $1,500. It’s possible that Google Glass 2 will be manufactured in greater numbers than the Explorer Edition, in which case it should be cheaper thanks to economies of scale.
This is the most obvious feature improvement needed–and not just for Google Glass, but any wearable. Though Google touted that Glass would last for “one day of typical use” many users found the device would run out of juice after only 4 to 6 hours. And if they were shooting video, sometimes the device would last for only 30 minutes.
This device successfully extends the mobile experience from the palm of your hand to the front of your face. Glass is still clearly a product in development. While many of its features worked well, including snapping pictures, making voice calls and even browsing the Web, its full potential has yet to be tapped. For example, the ability to ask Google questions without having to preface the query with “Google” could make search more intuitive. Longer battery life and a lengthier list of voice commands would also make the device more useful.