Recently, Google was granted a patent (No. 9,195,067 B1) by the US Patent and Trademark Office for a “Wearable Device with Input and Output Structures.” This description very likely refers to what is often publicly called “Google Glass 2.0″. The company itself is calling it “Project Aura” internally (not to be confused with their modular phone concept called “Project Ara”).
To us, the most interesting new information about the device is its monocle-like design. It is wearable around the rear part of the user’s head. For an impression of what we are talking about, please have a look at the embedded drawings from the patent.
Another feature reported by the Wall Street Journal is the new button-and-hinge design, which will allow the Glass to snap on to other glasses. It is specifically targeting business instead of home users.
As a reminder, Google stopped the sale of its $1,500 version of original Glass to end customers earlier this year. Primarily due to the decreasing interest in the device and criticism. For example that it was too clunky, expensive and has a far too small battery. Furthermore, the headset device also raised privacy concerns due to its video recording feature. But, yet Google is still selling Glass to corporate customers for use in a workplace.
Amazing as well are reports stating that Google will favor Intel instead of Texas Instruments as a chip manufacturer. Even though it is still unknown which Intel chip will be used in the new version, the focus will be on power consumption and improved battery life. We believe that’s for sure, because as mentioned above, it has always been a major concern of Google Glass.
Working with Intel may be a great deal for Google as far as promotion is concerned because not only does Intel make great chips but is also known for going the extra mile when they back something.
The separation of private and business customers that can be derived from the new patent goes along with a previous common belief that Google is working on at least two different types of headsets:
- The first type seems to be sort of an update of the original Google Glass, called Enterprise Edition. With the aforementioned new button-and-hinge design, it will work as a waterproof, foldable, clip-on device. A larger display size, super-fast next-generation Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi on both 2.4GHz and 5 GHz) and approximately two hours of battery life, underlines the target group of ambitious corporate customers. Instead of being a standalone head mounted display, it will be attached to regular glasses. Reports say it aims at manufacturing, energy, and healthcare industries.
- The second type could be screen-less and use bone conduction audio speakers to communicate with its wearer. It will probably aim at regular consumers, but more specifically ‘sports’ users. Another end-customer device with a screen was also not categorically excluded, but when it comes to releasing speculations, according to reports, just one single combined sports model will finally hit the market.
Besides all the speculations some facts are already verified. First, Project Aura (started in June 2015), is all about re-launching Google’s Glass eyeglasses and speeding their efforts to create a new wearable technology. Second, to boost the new group, the company is hiring many consumer electronics experts from Amazon’s Lab 126. Third, Nest CEO Tony Fadell (formerly working for Apple and inventing the Nest Learning Thermostat) will oversee Project Aura although it’s not clear what will happen after Nest transforms into a standalone Alphabet company.
According to different reports, the expected release date of Google Glass 2.0 is mid-2016. But, yet Google has not commented on the reports.