I'm as surprised as you are, but Google Glass is back. In fact, it's evolved. But it's probably not for you.
No, Google Glass isn't a consumer device. In a long profile at Backchannel, we learned it's an enterprise tool, and one meant to keep you from looking like what many called a Glasshole. Here's what to know about Glass Enterprise Edition.
How is this new Glass different?
Glass Enterprise Edition (EE) has some serious business-related spec bumps, including longer battery life, faster and more secure Wi-Fi, and a speedier processor. The camera has been bumped from 5 megapixels to 8MP, and, unlike the consumer edition, there's a big red light that indicates when users are recording.
Additionally, the electronics can separate from the frame now. The Glass Pod can be released from its frame to attach to prescription glasses or safety goggles. Google offers its own frames certified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
What companies are using Glass EE?
General Electric, Boeing, DHL, Volkswagen and farming equipment company AGCO are among the companies that have been using Google Glass on a secretive trial basis, according to the piece.
What can you do with Glass EE?
You won't be using it for Facebook, that's for sure. The piece suggests its use as an AR tool to help with step-by-step processes, like those on an assembly line.
Backchannel's Steven Levy described the process at AGCO:
"A typical task at AGCO takes 70 minutes, broken into steps of three to five minutes. When a worker begins a step, it’s spelled out on the tiny screen. Menu items offer the options to go to the next step, take a picture, ask for help, and more. When a step is done, the worker says, 'Okay, Glass, proceed[.]'"
The piece also describes its use in medical settings, reducing the amount of time necessary for data entry.
How can I get one?
Google and its parent company, Alphabet, don't sell Glass directly. Instead, they're sold through a series of partners, which you can find here. Those partners develop specific solutions for Glass depending on your needs.
Costs depend on the service you need, though in the Backchannel piece, AGCO paid between $1300 and $1500.
Google Glass EE is only sold to enterprises, not individuals.