Google Glass 2 Sports Foldable Frame, FCC Filing Shows

New documents filed with the FCC show an updated design for Google Glass 2, including a folding frame, and other details about the hardware's construction.
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Documents filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have revealed new details about Google Glass 2, the search giant's updated augmented reality device, including the hardware's ability to fold.

The FCC filing, first spotted by the blog 9to5Google, also shows the power button has now been moved to the back of the device, while the camera button is located on top near the display.

The flat area on the side of the device is called the touchpad, which is used to navigate different cards on the display.

The filing also notes the device meets the FCC's requirements for exposure to radio waves. Specifically, the documents show that the design does not exceed the FCC's emission limits for exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy.

The filing appears to confirm a report in the Wall Street Journal published in July that found Google was passing out an upgraded version of Glass to businesses in the health care, manufacturing, and energy industries. The company decided to move away from the consumer market for the time being.

An earlier FCC filing unearthed by the blog DroidLife reveals that Google has developed a new product labeled GG1, which doesn't confirm the nature of the device but indicates new life for the product.

Details of the filing were scarce, but the report notes the device supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi in 2.4GHz and 5GHz, alongside Bluetooth LE connectivity. It is supposed to have rechargeable, non-removable batteries.

Aside from better battery life, Google is also reportedly developing a battery pack which will help the glasses last even longer, a necessary feature if the device is going to wind up on the face of a doctor performing a lengthy operation.

The head-mounted wearable computer allows users to communicate with the Internet through natural-language voice commands or by tapping and sliding on the glasses frame.

Available in limited quantities to early adopters, the $1,500 original gadget promised a sci-fi version of the future, but in January Google announced that it would stop producing the prototype -- noting it remained committed to the development of the product.

The company's widely publicized launch of the product was met with enthusiasm from the tech press but indifference from the general public, with some pundits going so far as to label adopters of the technology "glassholes."

Google isn't the only player in the augmented reality game. Tech giants such as Sony and Microsoft are also developing their own virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality displays.

In May, Apple muscled into the AR space with the acquisition of German company Metaio.

Metaio offers a host of products, including a user-friendly augmented reality authoring tool, a software development kit (SDK) comprised of a capturing component, a sensor interface component, a rendering component, and a tracking component, as well as an application-hosting and delivery-as-a-service platform.

[Check out InformationWeek's Google predictions for 2016.]

Whether consumers will come around to the technology remains to be seen. However, a May report from Business Insider found that the overall global wearables market, which includes smart glasses, is projected to grow at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 35% over the next five years, reaching 148 million units shipped annually in 2019.

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