Google shuttered its original Google Glass project at the beginning of 2015, but we’ve since heard reports that something new is underway. Here’s everything we know about Google Glass 2 including all the latest news and rumours, plus specs, release date and pricing gossip.
Since the original Google Glass went the way of the dodo, virtual and augmented reality has struck it big. It seems Google’s first attempt at an AR wearable was the wrong device at the wrong time, rather than the wrong concept.
Google Glass 2 FAQ
What will Google Glass 2 be called? Google Glass Enterprise Edition
What’s new about Google Glass 2? There’s rumoured to be a new hinge system and wearable battery pack
When does Google Glass 2 come out? Reportedly already available via Google’s Glass for Work programme. The public version’s release date is unknown
Google Glass 2 news and rumours
News of the second-generation Google Glass started cropping up before the original project was even shuttered.
Back in December 2014, a patent application revealed designs for a new Google Glass headset. This came with a familiar basic metallic wrap-around design, but repositioned components.
This news was accompanied by initial suggestions that Google was looking to Intel to power Google Glass 2.
Of course, just a month later, on January 19, 2015, Google closed its Google Glass Explorer programme. This may have prompted some to wave a cheerful goodbye to the Glassholes, but Google promised this wouldn’t be the last we’d hear about the Glass project.
Opinion: Farewell to the Google Glassholes?
Indeed, all this really meant was that the initial beta period of Google Glass development was over. The Google Glass team has moved out of the experimental Google X labs and into the Project Aura wearables group.
Sure enough, less than six months on, we saw that a new “GG1” device had hit the FCC. The mystery device had Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a rechargeable battery, and the e-label in the filing appeared to show a Google Glass-like aspect ratio.
Later that very month, reports emerged that Google had begun distributing a new version of Google Glass to developers – this time aimed specifically and exclusively at businesses. The Wall Street Journal claimed that the new Glass was intended for use in industries such as health care, manufacturing and energy.
Sources claimed that the Glass 2 was a “curved rectangle” similar to the first one, but that it could clip to various glasses rather than sporting its own frame.
At the time we were told that a version of the Google Glass 2 for the general public was still a good year away. It’s now been a year since that report, however, and we haven’t seen anything official.
However, back in March 2016 we did see an unreleased Google Glass headset hitting eBay (pictured below), which was said to be called the Google Glass Enterprise Edition. It featured a new hinge system for easy folding, a new LED for the headset to show when the camera was in use, and a new charging port.
More recently still, Google’s Glass support page offered up some interesting titbits, including confirmation of that Google Glass Enterprise Edition name.
Google Glass 2 – What’s new?
Early glimpses at the Google Glass Enterprise Edition reveal a similar device to the original Explorer Edition. It will still include a display, camera, and touchpad attached to a small frame – though this time it appears to feature a flexible hinged design.
That display seems to be a little bigger than before, too.
As noted way back in 2014, and since confirmed, the Google Glass 2 appears likely to be powered by an Intel CPU, and there’ll also be support for 5GHz Wi-Fi.
The addition of an optional add-on battery pack in addition to the built-in cell, combined with a more efficient CPU, should lead to improved battery life. So no more cutting out after 45 minutes, then.
But the most meaningful addition to Google Glass 2 may have nothing to do with hardware. Google is known to be encouraging business app development for the new device, which suggests that we’ll have much more meaningful things to do with our new AR wearable.
Should you buy a VR headset?
Are you looking forward to the Google Glass 2, or do you remain unconvinced? Let us know in the comments below.