New Google Glass model hits the FCC website, images included
Google Glass is not dead. A brand new model of Google’s face computer has popped up on the FCC website (first spotted by 9to5Google), complete with rather high-res images of the device.The pictures show a Google Glass unit with the FCCID “A4R-GG1” that looks a lot like the existing Glass design. The biggest change seems to be that the device can now fold up, just like a regular pair of glasses, which will make it much easier to store when you aren’t wearing it. The Glass prism looks longer than the first version of the device, which presumably offers a larger picture.
In general, the case looks smoother and rounder than the previous version of Google Glass. The “Glass” part also seems to be completely independent of the glasses that hold it on your face—the FCC never shows a wearable version with a second side.
The charging port is different, too. There is a set of pogo pins with large circles on either side of the contacts. We’d guess that the circles are magnets to hold the charger cable on, which would make this charging port a lot like Apple’s MagSafe connector.
There are even internal pictures, which show the unit is packed with hardware. While we can see a speaker internally in the device, the bone conduction pad is gone from the case. There is a slot in the case right below where the speaker is, which makes it look like Glass has changed to a more conventional speaker.
The FCC even posted a short user manual, which states the power button is now “on the back of the device.” The biggest news from the manual is that there is now a camera light on the front of the device, which the manual states will turn green when the camera is on. This might help Glass gain a little more acceptance in public—one of the things that freaked people out about Glass was that wearers could silently record people. The FCC docs also show the unit now supports 5GHz Wi-Fi—an upgrade from the current (is a device from 2013 considered “current?”) version of Glass.
While an FCC appearance might make it seem like a product will soon be for sale, we wouldn’t hold our breath for a consumer release. Reports from both 9to5Google and The Wall Street Journal have reported that the next version of Glass is the “Enterprise Edition” and will be aimed at businesses. Reportedly the Enterprise Edition will use an Intel Atom processor, along with some other upgraded internals, and even supports an external battery pack. The device will supposedly only be sold through the “Glass for Work” program, and businesses will be expected to load custom software on the device.
There have also been reports of a mysterious Google Glass reboot and a rename to “Project Aura.” We’ll guess (and hope) that Project Aura isn’t what is pictured above and that work on a consumer version is still ongoing. Google has yet to formally announce the “Enterprise Edition” or “Project Aura.” The last we publicly heard of Glass was that it had been “reset” under the watchful eye of Nest’s Tony Fadell.