At the beginning of this year, the Google Glass program was moved into Tony Fadell's Nest division and the questions surrounding the wearable changed from "when will this weird head gadget finally die" to "when will this weird head gadget be reinvented and released to consumers." Since then, Eric Schmidt insisted that the program is far from dead and the CEO of Italian eyewear Luxxotica told the Wall Street Journal said a "second version" that incorporated the "second thoughts" Google had about the platform was coming "soon."
Now, Droid Life has dug up a submission to the FCC that shows fairly compelling evidence that Google is actively testing the next version of Glass. These kinds FCC documents used to be a rich source for people looking to learn about what gadgets were coming soon, but in recent years both those companies and the FCC have learned to lock up actual product photos under confidentiality agreements. Nevertheless, there are still details to be found amongst the tests, which require companies to disclose whether or not the radios inside these gadgets are safe for use around humans. Thus, we know that the device with the FCC ID A4R-GG1 supports various Wi-Fi bands and Bluetooth.
Glass is coming back
But more interestingly, these documents also require that companies disclose where the FCC label will appear and what it will look like. And in this case, Google is taking advantage of the 2014 E-Label act, which lets companies bury those labels away in the settings instead of printing them on the device itself. So instead of speculating about the shape of the device based on the size and position of a sticker, we get to speculate on the software of the device. Here, the GG1's documentation also gives us details: it's going to appear on a particularly Glass-like rectangular display and it's available on a submenu that requires users to "scroll left and right" — the scrolling directions used on the last version of Glass.
Does all that add up to solid proof that the GG1 is the next version of Glass and that it will be coming out in 2015? Let's say it adds up to a solid "maybe," since FCC documents rarely provide anything that definitive. But it certainly seems like Google is intent on taking another swing at convincing consumers they will want a computer on their face.
A look back at the Google Glass program from April, 2014