Skip to main content

Google working on two Glass-like devices ‘without displays’

Google Glass
We heard back in September that Project Aura – the new division responsible for Google Glass – was working on “cool wearables,” though that was all the information we had at the time.

According to insiders, three head-mounted devices are currently on the workbench, two of which have no screen and “rely on audio”, according to a report from The Information.

You’re right, that does sound like a roundabout way of saying “headphones,” but surely the Mountain View crew is cooking up something a little spicier than that?

The two sets without screens – one of which is apparently aimed at sports enthusiasts – reportedly use bone conduction to transmit audio, just like the original Glass. With that in mind, it seems we could be looking at a gadget with hands-free computing functionality that incorporates voice and/or touch control. Or maybe something else entirely.

The third device mentioned in the report sounds very much like another version of Glass, ie. it does have a display. This one is targeted at enterprises, with Project Aura reportedly looking to launch at least two of the three devices next year. But considering how we were kept hanging on with Glass, best not to build your hopes up.

The Information’s story appears to back up a report at the end of last year suggesting the team was considering a sleeker, more minimalist design that does away with the clutter seen with earlier versions of Glass.

Google recently expanded its Project Aura team following a hiring spree, the Wall Street Journal reported in September. The company is thought to have gone after engineers, software developers, and project managers, with some of the new recruits coming from Amazon’s Lab126 R&D unit in Silicon Valley after the ecommerce giant laid them off.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
There’s a new use for the failed Google Glass: Helping kids with autism
google glass monthly update october

For all intents and purposes, Google Glass has joined the ranks of the LaserDisc or Nintendo Power Glove among the once-promising gadgets which failed to catch on with consumers. After we had written them off as old news, however, Google’s ill-fated smart glasses may have finally found their ideal use case: Helping kids with autism in social situations.

“Google Glass is a lightweight, unobtrusive, augmented reality wearable device that is ideal for use with individuals who have often have sensory sensitivities,” Dennis Wall, an associate professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Biomedical Data Sciences at Stanford Medical School, told Digital Trends. “It is adjustable, and can fit on children as young as three years of age. Many other smart glasses available today are heavy or bulky, and therefore are not practical for use with children.”

Read more
You can buy Google Glass again — but only the Enterprise edition
google glass enterprise streye

Augmented reality looks to be gaining some traction thanks to the efforts of companies including Apple and Microsoft, but a few years ago, it was Google leading the charge with its Glass wearable. Of course, that device never really took off with users -- but it is making a resurgence in a slightly different form.

Glass Enterprise is now available from wearable specialist Streye. As that name might suggest, it is a slightly reconfigured version of Google Glass that is aimed at businesses who want to employ the technology among its employees.

Read more
Glass is back! Google takes the wraps off Glass Enterprise Edition
google glass enterprise agco

Google Glass, Google's augmented reality (AR) glasses, originally debuted in 2012, but was officially discontinued in 2014. But after nearly four years of skunkworks development, the search giant pulled back the curtain on Glass' next chapter: An industrial, corporate version called Google Glass Enterprise Edition.

Glass Enterprise Edition (EE) isn't new. It's been tested and deployed across factories in the U.S. by more than 50 companies including agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO, Boeing, General Electric, Volkswagen, and DHL, where it's been equipped with custom apps that catalog parts by scanning their serial numbers. But now, Google's making Glass available to more businesses through its existing network of supply chain partners.

Read more