GoogleGlass copy
The next generation of Google Glass will fold up when it's not being worn, much like traditional eyeglasses. Courtesy of Google, via the FCC

Take a Peek at the New Google Glass

Dec 28, 2015

A new version of Google's futuristic Glass eyewear will be foldable, presumably to more easily store in a pocket, according to a filing published on the Federal Communications Commission's website on Monday.

The filing shows that Google is still trying to refine the Internet connected device after a rocky debut. Google, which retired the original Glass technology early this year after it failed to catch on with consumers, promised to rework its smart eyeglasses for businesses to use including by assembly line workers and in training.

In addition to being foldable, the latest version also features a longer display prism, the component that lets wearers view images from the camera. Presumably, the change will make the images easier to see.

Otherwise, the Google Glass “enterprise” edition bears a strong resemblance to the spectacles Google founder Sergey Brin wore seemingly around the clock when he was hyping the ill-fated consumer prototype. People recoiled at the ugly, intrusive design. The smart glasses were even banned in some public places, because of privacy concerns.

The group responsible for research and development of technologies including Google Glass operates under the name Project Aura, a name that Google (goog) hasn’t confirmed. Tony Fadell, the co-founder of connected home device company Nest, which Google bought in 2014, is leading the initiative.

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While Google is characteristically quiet about the Glass project, it is actively recruiting developers to design applications for the device through a program called Glass at Work. Certified partners will be authorized to distribute Glass along with their software when the redesigned technology becomes commercially available.

WATCH: Google recasts its Glass in a commercial, rather than consumer role.

Several early participants in Glass at Work specialize in applications for health care. Examples include Advanced Medical Applications, which designs software for live-surgery demonstrations, training and telemedicine; Augmedix, which sells electronic medical records software; and Pristine, a purveyor of video communications technology.

Google has not said when the Glass business edition will be publicly available.

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