Google is bringing Glass back.
A new version of the wearable computer – which generated polarizing reactions and heavy backlash when it initially launched as a consumer product in 2012 – is being rolled out to businesses, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The updated model will be used by professionals in industries like manufacturing and health care, likely starting this fall. A consumer version won't be released for at least a year, according to the outlet.
This relatively low-key rollout is very different from the splashy approach Google took when it first launched Glass. Back then, to generate awareness for the product, the company created the high-profile Explorer program in which a beta version of the device was handed out to a group of consumers for testing.
The public backlash against the wearable, still a work in progress, was swift and continuous. 'Explorers' ruffled feathers every time they wore the glasses in restaurants, movie theaters and public restrooms. These privacy concerns, plus the host of bugs discovered in the beta version and its lofty $1,500 price tag, meant that Google Glass continued to receive bad press until the company finally pulled the plug on the project last winter.
By marketing the device directly to businesses – where it will be used primarily in private settings – Google appears to be looking to avoid another PR crisis.
The new version of Glass will include a faster Intel processor, a longer battery life and improved wireless connectivity in addition to some subtle design changes, the WSJ reports.