The original Google Glass has almost faded away completely after being banned in many public places around the world. Earlier this year, Google closed down the official Glass social media accounts, removing the innovative headset from the public eye.
However, the failure of the initial consumer version hasn’t detracted from Google’s ongoing devotion to the overall project. For years, there have been rumours of an improved Glass being in development, aimed at the enterprise market where the headset has already seen some success.
Although Google has yet to publicly reveal Glass: Enterprise Edition, it is thought to be testing it with a selection of limited customers. Over the weekend, the world got its first look at the next evolution of Glass as an enterprise edition prototype unexpectedly popped up on eBay.
The listing was spotted by Google+ user Cavin Kabe and verified by 9to5Google. The site was able to confirm the headset’s authenticity after contacting the seller, a pawn shop located in San Francisco. The store would not reveal who decided to pawn their unannounced and highly-secretive Glass device, offering it on eBay for a starting price of $700. Since then bids, have climbed to sit at over $8,600.
Google Glass Enterprise Edition is thought to have much better performance across the board compared with the initial version that consumers were briefly able to buy. It is said to include an Intel Atom processor, faster and more reliable Wi-Fi capable of streaming video, improved thermals and heat dissipation and a longer battery life. The hardware will help the Glass to establish itself in business environments and is combined with a lighter construction geared towards all-day office use.
Google has also addressed one of the key privacy concerns of the first Glass. The camera is now accompanied by a front-facing LED that lights up when in use, making it obvious if a Glass wearer is taking photos and reducing the potential for secret snaps of people or private events.
Glass: Enterprise Edition is a more complete demonstration of Google’s concept of a headset that overlays digital information onto its wearer’s vision. The futuristic technology didn’t catch on with the general public but may prove more popular in the controlled enterprise environments that Google has since refocused on.
Google hasn’t responded to the listing and is still remaining quiet on the existence of the Glass Enterprise Edition. It is expected to reveal more about the headset this year as it begins to “quietly distribute” early versions to workers in select industries in the U.S.