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Google

Google's much-touted Glass technology failed to gain traction with consumers, but the company says it has given the computerized spectacles new life as a business tool. The tech giant says it used a lightened up, clip-on version in a two-year beta test of "Glass Enterprise Edition," and that it's now going commercial with them.

They are less creepy: In a blog post, Google shows workers wearing a far less-clunky version of Glass than the weird ones that co-founder Sergei Brin frequently sported when he ballyhooed the product in 2013. Google says workers wearing the new Glass can view instructions for what to do next right in their line of sight rather than stopping what they are doing to consult a laptop or an instruction manual. Google's website lists about three dozen beta customers, and says some have improved the efficiency of tasks by 25%.

Why it matters: Amid a debate over the potential for uber-automation to wipe out whole classes of employment, the newsletter Architecht calls the new Glass a possible way to improve efficiency without the introduction of robots. "There certainly are reasons for companies to continue employing as many people as possible, and augmenting employees with smart glasses might be a way to get the best of both worlds," writes Architecht's Derrick Harris.

The possible downsides: You can only buy the new Glass through a dozen Google partners who have various applications attached, and not directly, per Motherboard's Carl Franzen. In addition, Google may find that, four years later, Glass has been rendered obsolete by virtual reality technology.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

8 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.