Google Glasses Development Continues As Search Giant Attempts To Discover True Potential Of AR And VR

Google Glasses are not abandoned. Google is deep in the development of the third generation of the Augmented Reality infused smart glasses. Google wants to pursue the idea of simple wearable glasses that are always connected to the internet and offer information and updates directly to wearer’s ears, while visual information and helpful hints keep floating in front of the eyes. The third iteration of the Google Glasses is reportedly already in the pre-production phase. Although there are several improvements over the previous generation of Google Glasses, there’s a glaring limitation, which Google might just eliminate.

Google has not given up on Google Glasses, one of the sleekest attempts at miniaturizing technology and getting it mounted within the frame of a standard pair of spectacles. The Google Glasses endeavor is reportedly alive and well despite the previous versions not turning out to be a commercial success. However, technology, and more importantly its adoption, has come a long way from the first generation of Google Glasses. Owing to the shrinking size of processors, miniaturization of circuits and a vast improvement in the processing power residing in the cloud, Google is now able to revisit the idea once considered too futuristic and impractical. Aside from a simple limitation, the third iteration of Google Glasses is expected to serve a lot more people. Moreover, it is important to note that with the latest version Google is significantly expanding the scope and purpose of Google Glasses.

Google’s Parent Company Alphabet Has Placed Orders For Google Glasses

According to sources familiar with the development of Google Glasses, Alphabet, the company that now heads the search giant, has already completed the internal development of the device. Moreover, Alphabet has reportedly approached Taiwanese Company Pegatron to build several units of the third-generation Google Glasses. However, it is important to note that the order is quite small. In other words, the first batch of nearly production-grade Google Glasses won’t be sold openly to the general public. In fact, the first production run should be of pre-production units meant to field-test the latest version. Moreover, even the mass production-worthy edition of Google Glasses version 3 may not be for the general population.

The third-generation Google Glasses is reportedly referred to as the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3. The first generation of Google Glasses was aimed primarily at the general population. The glasses were specifically designed and developed to offer information to the wearer. The emphasis was more on social tools, communication, navigation, and information access. Google Glasses’ first version essentially sourced information that was meant to augment the platforms or services the users were already using. The second generation of Google Glasses, however, served a more specific purpose. They were designed to boost or simplify information access to companies and enterprises. These glasses could aid in observations and execution of tasks as well.

Incidentally, all the previous iterations of the Google Glasses were produced by another manufacturer. According to DigiTimes, Google had chosen Quanta Computer to manufacture Google Glasses version 1 and 2. Both Pegatron and Quanta Computer are specialty manufacturers of hardware and electronic components. These companies undertake the production of several components and have reportedly worked with companies to design, develop and manufacture specific hardware. According to the sources, Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 has completed its development stage and has currently entered pilot production by the manufacturers.

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 Specifications And Features:

The Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 is still shrouded in mystery. Neither Google nor either of the two companies have confirmed whether the production of glasses is underway. Moreover, Google hasn’t yet officially confirmed the existence of Google Glasses third edition. Still, some specifications have leaked well before the expected availability of Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 in the market. Incidentally, sources indicate these Google Glasses could be available next year. Given the development and pre-production timeframe, Google may officially launch the glasses in the second half of 2020.

Reports indicate Google has managed to keep the weight of Google Glasses third edition unchanged. In other words, the latest Google Glasses could weigh about 150 grams. However, this weight most likely does not include the type of frame and an additional pair of glasses of the spectacles. This is because, given the intended applications, Google has reportedly teamed with Smith Optics to create Glass-ready safety frames. These specialty frames should be durable and tough enough for most environments and scenarios.

The new glasses are packing 820 mAh battery pack. This is slightly larger than the 780 mAh battery pack found within the previous generation of Google Glasses. Strangely, despite the bump in capacity, the new version has rather disappointing battery life. According to reports, the new version can work reliably for just 30 minutes before needing a recharge. Charging is reportedly taking place through a USB Type C port. The battery life appears low but could improve significantly with software tweaking.

The Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 will pack a new Snapdragon processor. The new generation of the headset-oriented processor has been tweaked for extended runtimes. The CPU should still offer sizeable improvements in processing. But more importantly, the significantly miniaturized SoC could offer substantially improved Artificial Intelligence (AI) performance. Needless to add, Google Glasses’ previous versions had rather rudimentary imaging and camera capabilities. The latest edition is expected to have improved camera quality. The camera lenses could have been improved to boost video conferencing and other collaborative tools.

The most interesting aspect of Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 is the choice of the operating system. Till date, Google has extensively relied on custom software and code for Google Glasses. However, the latest and third iteration of Google Glasses has been “built on Android”. In other words, the glasses function on an Android OS base. This essentially means it will now be a lot easier for developers to create Google Glasses specific apps. These smart glasses could also be enrolled in Android’s enterprise device management. This would allow a company’s IT Department to maintain stricter and effective control over the usage of Google Glasses or fine-tune them for specific purposes.

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 Competing With Microsoft HoloLens 2?

As the name implies, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 is primarily meant for enterprises and businesses. This also means individual buyers looking for using Google Glasses for personal use may not be able to buy them, at least in the near future. Interestingly, Google does have a special webpage where corporates and companies can express interest. It is quite likely Google will work with companies to customize the Google Glasses for specific purposes.

Speaking of specialty roles and augmented reality, the  Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3 is most likely attempting to compete against Microsoft’s HoloLens. The second generation of HoloLens is an exceptionally powerful headset that has been showcased by Microsoft on numerous occasions. HoloLens 2 has several productivity and collaboration tools that companies can use. Microsoft is specifically positioning HoloLens 2 as an advanced tool for businesses. Moreover, Microsoft’s product has Mixed Reality.

Google is yet to confirm pricing of the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 3. However, the price per piece of the smart glasses will most likely depend on the companies ordering them in sufficient quantities. Even if the exact price remains unknown, the latest edition of Google Glasses may come close to $1,000 per piece. Incidentally, the past iterations have cost around $1,000. If Google manages to maintain the price, the Google Glasses third edition could be an economically viable alternative to Microsoft HoloLens 2.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.