Google Launches New $999 Glass AR Headset for Enterprise Customers

Google today announced the launch of a new enterprise-focused Google Glass headset, the Glass Enterprise Edition 2.

The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 looks more like a traditional pair of glasses than a futuristic headset thanks to safety frames designed in partnership with Smith Optics, but for those who don't need safety glasses features, there's also a standard version that looks like the original.

Both versions feature a 640 x 380 Optical Display Module that displays augmented reality content over the real world view, while also offering up a smart voice assistant for getting tasks done.

Inside, there's an updated, faster Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor, an improved 8-megapixel camera, USB-C port for faster charging, and a larger battery.

Google says the Snapdragon XR1 features a significantly more powerful multicore CPU and a new artificial intelligence engine for "significant power savings," improved performance, and support for computer vision and more advanced machine learning capabilities.

Google Glass 2 runs Android Oreo, which is meant to make it easier for businesses to develop for and deploy.

The new version of Google Glass is priced at $999, down from $1,599 for the original version, and like the prior Enterprise Glass option, it is not available directly to consumers.

Google originally released Google Glass in 2013 as a mass market product, but it wasn't well-received due to privacy and functionality concerns. Google then relaunched it as an Enterprise product for businesses in 2017, with the redesigned version available as of today.

Apple is rumored to be working on its own augmented reality smart glasses, which could be somewhat similar in design to Google's version. Apple has had AR smart glasses in development for several years now, and rumors have suggested we could see a launch in 2020.

Tags: Google, Google Glass
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The debate between these two views will shape the relationship between the activist left and the political center for years to come.You can see the outlines of the first anti-Trump position—Trumpism as intolerance—in last week’s much-discussed “Letter on Justice and Open Debate,” published by Harper’s Magazine. The authors call Trump “a real threat to democracy” and an ally of “the forces of illiberalism.” But they worry that illiberal tendencies are also growing on the left, which is creating “its own brand of dogma or coercion” that threatens “democratic inclusion.” The authors don’t claim that leftist intolerance poses as grave a threat as the populism of the right. But the implication is that Trumpism is not simply a right-wing phenomenon. It’s a form of intolerance—a willingness to violate the norms of liberal-democratic fair play—that transcends ideological divides. As Yascha Mounk, one of the letter’s signers and an Atlantic contributing writer, argues in an introduction to his new journal, Persuasion, “The primary threat to liberal democracy is posed by the populist right” but the “values of a free society” also “are losing their luster among significant parts of the left.”Mounk and others of similar mind are proposing an updated version of what Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. in 1949 famously called the “vital center,” in a book of the same name. Schlesinger’s argument was that both the fascist right and the communist left shared common totalitarian features. It was thus necessary for liberals and conservatives who believed in a free society to recognize that, whatever their policy differences, they shared a broad ideological camp: the vital center. Substitute Trumpism for totalitarianism, and you can detect the same impulse in the work of those writers who define Trumpism as a species of intolerance that manifests itself on both the left and the right.In contrast, influential progressives are defining Trumpism not as intolerance but as oppression, and thus, necessarily, the province of those who enjoy racial, gender, or class privilege. After the Harper’s letter was published, another group of commentators wrote a response titled “A More Specific Letter on Justice and Open Debate.” This group—“started by journalists of color with contributions from the larger journalism, academic and publishing community,” according to the letter—accused the Harper’s signatories of failing to “deal with the problem of power: who has it and who does not.” The Harper’s letter never uses the words Black, white, brown, or trans. The response (which, granted, is longer) uses them at least four dozen times. It claims that the Harper’s signers are using the supposed intolerance of members of historically oppressed groups as an excuse for their own “unwillingness to dismantle systems that keep people like them in and the rest of us out.”In The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates famously described Trump’s politics as white supremacy made evident because of the election of a Black president. Although the writers of the “More Specific Letter” don’t mention Trump by name, they’re building on Coates’s argument: Trumpism is the brutal manifestation of inherited power. Thus, the notion that it could be a malady that transcends lines of class, race, gender, and ideology—expressed not only by Republican politicians but by people of color in newsrooms and on campuses—is nonsense. As the writer Jeet Heer has argued, Trumpism is the culmination of the GOP’s decision to make itself white America’s vehicle for opposing racial equality. 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Solar Orbiter / EUI Team (ESA & NASA) / CSL / IAS / MPS / PMOD / WRC / ROB / UCL / MSSLFor Daniel Müller, a solar physicist at the European Space Agency, there are two suns. There’s the one that hangs in the sky and warms his skin as he walks along the coastline near his home in the Netherlands. And there’s the one that exists indoors, on his computer screen, which he can stare at for hours, studying the swirls in a fiery landscape.As much as he enjoys a sunny walk on the beach, Müller has been basking in the other version of our star this summer: A recently launched spacecraft has captured the closest images ever taken of the sun and sent them back to Earth.The images show the sun in glowing detail. They were captured by telescopes on Solar Orbiter (a delightfully straightforward name for a mission) as the spacecraft zoomed past the sun. 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The phenomena might fit a theory that the solar physicist Eugene Parker proposed decades ago, when telescope technology wasn’t sophisticated enough to acquire these kinds of views. Parker hypothesized that magnetic interactions would spark a flurry of small flares near the surface of the sun—nanoflares, as he called them. These flares could produce enough energy to raise the corona’s temperature to scorching heights.[Read: Fly me to the sun]“A few of them together do not create a lot of heat or energy,” says Holly Gilbert, a NASA solar physicist who works on the mission. “If you combine them all together, it’s possible that that is contributing to the coronal heating.”The corona is one of several conundrums at the center of our solar system. Scientists have yet to pin down the mechanism that fuels the sun’s biggest flares, or that unleashes solar wind toward Earth and beyond, past planets and moons, to the solar system’s invisible edges, where the high-energy stream starts mixing with the cooler particles of interstellar space.Solar Orbiter, which is operated by the European Space Agency and NASA, left Earth just in time. The mission departed in mid-February, weeks before authorities started issuing stay-at-home orders because of the coronavirus in Europe, where the spacecraft was manufactured, and the United States, where it was launched. Hundreds of employees from the two space agencies traveled to Cape Canaveral for the launch and celebrated together in the kind of gathering that would be banned today.In the months since, only two spacecraft operators have been allowed into the ESA’s control rooms at the same time, and always in face masks. Scientists who had planned to be in the room with them, to help get the spacecraft’s instruments online and working, guided the operators over video instead. “We were very worried at the beginning,” says José-Luis Pellón-Bailón, the mission’s deputy spacecraft-operations manager and one of the few people still permitted to enter the control room.[Read: The mystery at the center of the solar system]If space agencies had fallen behind schedule in February and missed the window to put Solar Orbiter on the best trajectory, they would have had to wait until October to launch. The pandemic has already slowed down other space projects, and contributed to a two-year launch delay for a Mars rover, which depends on cosmic alignments for its journey. When Müller considers this alternate reality, in which Solar Orbiter sits in a warehouse instead of coasting through space, he nearly shudders. “No one knows what the world will look like in October,” he said.Today, Solar Orbiter’s instruments are running smoothly. The spacecraft is currently hurtling away from us and toward Venus, where it will steal some of the planet’s gravity to adjust its orbit and swing closer to the sun. (It sounds strange, but flying into the sun is actually harder than leaving the solar system.) Officials haven’t yet decided how, years from now, the mission will end. They could leave the spacecraft gliding in space, or they could plunge it into the sun, as NASA is planning to do with another sun-observing spacecraft, named for Parker, the longtime physicist. That probe will get even closer to the sun, but it doesn’t have telescopes that can look directly at the star, as Solar Orbiter does.Solar Orbiter will make its next close approach to the sun early next year, loaded with commands to carry out a picture-perfect flyby. Scientists expect the spacecraft to catch even better views of the miniature flares they found this summer, and perhaps other intriguing features too. Maybe, by then, more than two people will be allowed in the control room, to guide the spacecraft’s course. On Earth, trajectories large and small—the course of a deadly virus, the minutiae of daily life—can’t be so easily programmed and planned.
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