Google Glass 2.0 Aimed at Enterprise Market

by Jeff Wiener on July 10, 2015

There’s no question that the world wasn’t quite ready for Google’s ambitious Glass project; smart eyewear that did wonders to vilify early adopters (to the point they were referred to as “glassholes”) and alienate the general tech consuming public. In fact, Google Glass was so hard to swallow for the general consumer that the company scuttled the project, tossing Glass into the ever-growing tech rubbish pile and heading back to the drawing board.

But ever since Google Glass slipped into obscurity it was clear the search engine giant was not abandoning the idea, but simply finding ways that future iterations of its eyewear project could solve the problems that stood in the way of mass adoption the first time around.

Now we hear that a recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission hints at the next generation of the eyewear project, dubbed “GG1,” and although not much is known, it’s clear it will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, and sport a built-in battery. But here’s the real story, reports indicate that with this new eyewear Google is taking on the most challenging market for new tech adoption: the enterprise sector.

According to tech website 9to5google.com, the search engine giant has been quietly working on an enterprise edition of its Google Glass project, privately showing prototypes of its project to some of its Glass at Work partners, a program the company quietly started last year to help create business and professional apps for the platform.

While there is no confirmation that the new “GG1” filing Google tried to slip through the FCC recently is actually the rumoured enterprise edition of Google Glass, many analysts are simply connecting the dots, having discovered that the rumoured specs of the enterprise project line up with the scant details we’re seeing in the FCC filing.

But if Google is truly designing an enterprise edition of Google Glass, here’s a few reasons why I’m guessing it will be another catastrophic failure: First, Google is a consumer-oriented company that makes consumer-oriented products. Functionality, productivity, durability; these aren’t words in Google’s design vocabulary. The simple fact is that Google has very little experience meeting the complex needs of the enterprise market.

Second, given the failure to sell the tech consuming public on the value and appeal of Google Glass, I fail to see how the company will convince an exponentially more sceptical enterprise market of the value of the project. Before businesses start pouring money into Google’s coffers to deploy this eyewear project, they’re going to want to know that it works with a myriad of backend systems, promotes productivity, and can endure the rigours of the business world. My thinking is that Google Glass will do none of these things, and offer little more than a few business-oriented apps.

Let’s not forget that the entire BYOD movement, which saw the mass adoption of consumer-oriented devices in the workplace, was spurred by the fact that employees wanted to use their favourite devices in all facets of their lives, private and public. Google Glass is, at least at this point, no one’s favourite anything, and so there’s little impetus for companies to adopt it right out of the box.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are several key industries that would benefit from advanced smart eyewear technology (military and government agencies immediately come to mind) but again I’m just not sure Google Glass 2.0 will be advanced enough, particularly given Google’s inexperience designing and delivering true enterprise specific products.

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