The often maligned Google Glass is having another go at it, with a new name and a more extensive design team. Named “Project Aura,” the team will have as one of its main goals combating the stigma that faced the previous iteration of the smart glasses.
Forming a large part of the new design team are former Amazon employees who previously worked on such projects as its failed Fire smartphone. The team will be working on a diverse set of wearable products, in addition to the new version of Google Glass. There are also rumors that the team will be working on virtual reality technologies like gesture control of devices.
Google has already been quietly releasing a different version of Glass targeting businesses in the health care, manufacturing, and energy industries, after it ceased sales of its consumer version in January.
With the ultimate goal of a new version of Glass for the consumer market, the introduction of industry-specific versions of Glass might allow for the public to become comfortable with the presence of these types of devices.
Surgeons have been testing a version which allows them to consult with colleagues while performing a procedure, or to instruct students. For anyone who has googled the solution to a problem, the option for a device that can overlay that information onto their natural vision while performing the task would be invaluable.
One of the main criticisms of the first Google Glass, which sold for $1,500, was that it enabled users to record others without their knowledge. The application of this very same feature in a manufacturing environment will enable employees to document how to perform a task correctly, making the advanced technologies shunned by consumers ideal for the commercial world.
The next consumer version of Glass will be a result of the new design team, as well as collaboration with Italian eyewear maker Luxxotica and is expected to hit the market in early 2016. But don’t expect it to be called Glass. After the rise of the term ‘Glassholes’ to describe those wearing the obnoxious devices Google will likely go with a name closer to Aura in order to avoid negative publicity.