- Google is launching an updated version of its virtual reality wearables for the enterprise, dubbed Glass Enterprise Edition 2, built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform for a "more powerful multicore CPU," according to a company announcement Monday.
- The Qualcomm platform enables power savings, computer vision support and expanded machine learning capabilities. The USB-C port allows for a better battery life and faster charging.
- Edition 2 is built on Android, making it easy for integrations with APIs already in use. Google anticipated the need for scaled deployments so the updated wearables support Android Enterprise Mobile Device Management.
Easing the burden of training workers and maintaining the safety of products and processes is the sweet spot for VR glasses, but different iterations of Google Glass struggled.
Glass was marketed as a consumer product. When it hit the market, it was met with a heavy side of ridicule over privacy and function. In October 2017, Google took a swing at the VR headsets again, announcing plans for a enterprise-focused relaunch.
In its relaunch, Google narrowed in on modularized applications for the enterprise wearables across industries. The goggles could be used for training insurance adjusters and food workers learning to cook and use equipment. Walmart is using wearables for educating store associates on new technologies, soft skills and compliance.
GE was an early adopter of the new model, saying the wearables reduced assembly errors and improved mechanical efficiency. The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is made for manufacturing and maintenance work, after Google partnered with Smith Optics to design "Glass-compatible safety frames," according to the announcement.
Google's wearables found its footing in the enterprise. Nearly 90% of tech executives, investors and consultants think extended reality technologies will eventually be as common as smartphones. But adoption of VR solutions is hindered by bulky hardware and technical glitches for more than one-quarter of tech professionals.
Compact versions of VR training tools, like Google Glass, is where companies want to focus, though other tech companies offering wearables VR solutions, like Microsoft's HoloLens, have yet to claim a strong place in the enterprise.