Google Glass Is Alive and Well in the Enterprise

Google's recent decision to end its Glass Explorer Program resulted in an array of media reports regarding the controversial wearable's demise, but the companies building software and services for Glass say the future of smartglasses in the enterprise has never been brighter.

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Is Glass a Safe Bet During Transition?

Any reasonable company would be wise to cautiously approach Glass at this point, at least until Google makes its future plans for the wearable more concrete. It's also worth noting that Google is first and foremost a company that caters to consumers, and it has relatively little experience building and supporting products for enterprise use.

It can be risky business betting on Google in the enterprise, but its Glass at Work partners say their current and prospective customers need not worry.

[Related: Google Glass Gets Fashionable with Gaudy 'DVF Made for Glass' Frames]

Ubimax's Witt cites three specific examples of why enterprise customers should keep the faith. First of all, Google's move to bring the Glass team out of Google[x] will make Glass stronger and elevate it from experimental status, Witt says. A new version of Glass is a near certainty, he says, which means that Google definitely hasn't abandoned the project. And moving the Glass team under Tony Fadell, an accomplished leader, also speaks volumes, according to Witt.

tony fadell

Nest cofounder Tony Fadell

"You wouldn't necessarily get a person like [Fadell] in if you think you might end that project very soon," Witt says

Chase Feiger, founder and director of business development, Wearable Intelligence, another Certified Glass Partner, agrees. "Tony Fadell's track record in product development speaks for itself." 

Shakil cites the $16 million in Series A venture funding Augmedix received in January as further proof that his company, and as an extension, Glass, is thriving.

"We just closed a large fundraising round from some prestigious Silicon Valley investors," Shakil says. "There's a whole bunch of due diligence, on all sides, that went into that fundraising. All parties are extremely confident." 

APX Labs' Ballard warns about the dangers of overreacting to skewed media coverage and inflammatory headlines.

"It's important in enterprise life cycles not to let headlines like 'Glass is dead' make us forget the forest for the trees and have a knee-jerk reaction to it," Ballard says. "Looking at the big picture means we have to look at trends across the whole head-worn industry … That said, Glass is one of our most important partnerships and we are comfortable with the direction they are going."

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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