New Google Glass for businesses will reportedly attach to other eyewear

A consumer-focused version is also said to be in the works

Google Glass

Google Glass

The next edition of Google Glass will target enterprises and feature an attachable design, a news report suggests, shedding new light on rumors that have been circulating over the past several months.

The device will feature a curved, rectangular form factor much the way the first, consumer-focused Glass edition did, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. It will differ from that version, however, in that it will reportedly feature a button-and-hinge system rather than a fixed frame, making it attachable to different kinds of eyewear.

Google aims to have the device in use by this fall at companies in healthcare, manufacturing and energy, and is already distributing it to software developers creating applications for that purpose, the WSJ reported on Thursday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the situation.

A new consumer version is also in the works, but it reportedly won't appear for at least a year.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.

The original $1,500 Google Glass version is widely considered to have been released before it was ready for consumer use, and it encountered a strong backlash over privacy concerns.

Expected in the new, enterprise version are a faster Intel processor and improved wireless connectivity. An external battery pack connects magnetically to the device, the latest news suggests, promising better battery life than what was offered by its predecessor.

Finally, a longer and thinner prism display is adjustable both vertically and horizontally, the WSJ said, offering improved flexibility.

"The new Google Glass story sounds much better the second time around," said wireless and telecom analyst Jeff Kagan.

Consumers will probably become more comfortable with such technology eventually, but "it will take a while before the average person gets to that point," Kagan added. In the meantime, "taking Glass to certain industries to start sounds like a much better idea."

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Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
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