Google to wade back into Glass development; healthcare targeted

Google, in a behind the scenes effort to boost its Glass wearable, reportedly is set to distribute a new version geared toward specific industries, including healthcare.

The tech giant will look to distribute the new Glass version to businesses by the fall, and an updated consumer model could be a year away, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The latest Glass device reportedly is similar to the initial Explorer Glass device, minus that version's wire fame. There is a button and hinge design so the user can place the Glass on different sets of optical wear, according to WSJ, which describes the form factor as being a curved rectangle.

The news comes nearly eight months after Google relocated the Glass development team from its Google X research unit and stopped selling the Explorer Glass headset device, according to the article. Privacy concerns about how the device was being used were among several reasons for the pullback.

Google now has a resume full of healthcare projects to back up its renewed Glass efforts. In March it was reported that the company obtained a patent for a wrist device aimed at killing cancer cells. There is also an mHealth wristband for pharma clinical trials and drug tests under development by Google to provide research teams with real-time data on patient vital signs.

According to the WSJ, the new business-focused Glass device boasts a speedier processor, longer battery life and enhanced vision capability. The report did not mention any specific users testing or piloting the product.

At the end of 2014 there was a swirl of rumors Google Glass was quietly being shuttered with even MIT's Technology Review reporting the "computer you wear on your face is falling to its death." But soon after came news of Intel partnering with Google on a chip for a new Glass version.

For more information:
- read the WSJ report