Google Glass 2 In The Works, FCC Filing Suggests

Google Glass didn't catch fire with consumers, but an FCC filing suggests the company is not giving up on its ambitions.



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A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing by search engine behemoth Google indicates the company may be giving it another go on its failed smart glasses project, Google Glass.

The filing, unearthed by the blog DroidLife, reveals Google has developed a new product labeled GG1. The filing doesn't confirm the nature of the device, but points toward new life for the product.

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

Adding to the intrigue was Google's inclusion of an e-label as part of the filing, suggesting that it's part of the device's software.

Glass is a head-mounted wearable computer developed by the company enabling users to communicate with the Internet through natural-language voice commands or by tapping and sliding on the frame.

Available in limited quantities to early adopters, the $1,500 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."

That hasn't stopped other tech giants from trying. In February, consumer electronics company Sony began taking orders from developers for its own smart glasses, less than a month after Google discontinued Google Glass Explorer Edition.

According to a May report from Business Insider, the global wearables market 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.

However, the bulk of that growth is expected to come from devices like fitness bands and smartwatches, though some analysts indicate even that market, dominated in recent months by Apple's launch of the Watch, is overinflated.

[Yahoo seeks Google? Yahoo Testing Arch Rival Google On Search.]

The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which includes wearable tech and any device that can connect to the Web, has also sparked security concerns.

A Trend Micro-sponsored survey of 1,903 consumers in the US, Europe, and Japan conducted by the Ponemon Institute, found the majority (54%) of respondents believe or are unsure whether the benefits of IoT outweigh the concerns about privacy or security.

"This sense of possible futility is also reflected in respondents' answers showing that 75 percent of respondents say they don't believe they can control their personal information and 82 percent indicating they don’t feel they got enough information from manufacturers about how personal information will be used, a Trend Micro blog post on the report stated.

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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