Remember Google’s clever specs adorned with a screen, a camera, and all the Google+ integration you could shake a stick at? Well, they’re back. That’s right, Google Glass is back, though not quite as you remember it.
While not quite ready for consumers just yet, Google Glass 2 is currently a prototype about to hit the testing phase. That means Google is handing over a pair of the clever glasses to a small number of select employees and testers. Google Glass 2 is about to venture out into the wild.
If you didn’t quite catch the blip that was Google Glass back in 2014, here’s what you need to know. The device was a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses. They were packed with smart notifications, a camera for photos and videos, turn-by-turn navigation, and Google’s defunct social platform Google+. The specs proved unpopular with consumers due to a hefty price tag of $1500, and privacy concerns. Since then, Google Glass has held on for dear life in enterprise sales.
But it looks like the second generation smart specs are nearing completion, as Google confirms they’re entering a test phase in the real world. Until now, tests have been confined to a lab. Google wants to branch out to see how Google Glass will be able to help out in day-to-day life.
In these tests, Google is focusing on AR navigation as well as real-time translation and transcription. It gives us an interesting first-look at what the new gear will be able to do. The prototypes will include in-lens displays, microphones and cameras, much like the original device. During testing, Google will limit what the devices can do, such as turning off the mic and snapper.
For now, details on Google Glass 2 remain scarce. From the few details we have, it seems like the second version of the device is going back to focus on consumers again, rather than on enterprise. For now, we’ll have to stay tuned, and you’ll have to wait a little longer to get them on your face. Google is getting in on the future of AR, and the space is already hotting up.