Google may not be selling Glass in enough quantities to keep major developers interested, but that hasn’t stopped them from talking with Intel about supplying the processing power for a new version.
Google Glass is currently powered by the aging Texas Instruments OMAP processor that powered the now three year old Samsung built Galaxy Nexus, but a revised version, will be powered by a newer generation Intel processor. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal who has spoken with ‘people familiar with the matter’.
As part of providing the processing power behind a new version of Glass, Intel would also use its reach to push Glass into areas such as ‘hospital networks and manufacturers’. It’s places such as these, which Google is already wooing as part of their Glass at Work push. A push which has already garnered a number of interested companies in those specific areas, but pushing from two fronts can only bring more results.
It’s the Glass At Work program which is seeing developers who previously worked on consumer level Glassware, move to the corporate environment after an expected retail launch of Glass failed to materialise this year. Twitter has been one of the most high profile names to drop support of Glass, with their Glassware no longer available to new Glass users, although the Glass team simply advises that the newly launched ‘Notification Sync’ as part of the My Glass app last month should push Twitter push notifications to the headset.
A faster, perhaps even more battery efficient processor would be a big step, but it’s also a fashion choice. People wearing Glass in the street are instantly recognisable, and run the risk of being branded ‘Glassholes’ by people wary of the camera mounted in the headset. Google recently brought on former Calvin Klein executive, Ivy Ross to head up the Glass team after several high-profile departures from the Glass team. A sleeker more refined version of Glass would be welcomed on most fronts, especially if this new version turns out to be aimed at retail.
It’s still a long way from a retail launch, although US and UK residents can essentially join the Glass Explorer program at will, as long as they’re willing to fork out the current US$1500 price tag. Perhaps this rumoured partnership with Intel will allow Google to leverage the scale of both parties to move along to a more consumer friendly price point and finally achieve a retail launch for Glass.