First launched in 2013, Google Glass was initially marketed to a general audience, with the promise of allowing people to access the computer on their face instead of having to pull out their phone. But smart glasses were discontinued in 2015 after beta versions failed to attract attention due to high prices, bulky designs and privacy concerns.
Google will no longer sell the latest Enterprise version of Google Glass, the company announced this week, killing off an innovative but failed line of wearables from another era that many consumers might assume is over. it’s along time.
Google then shifted its focus from consumers to businesses. The first Enterprise version of Glass, announced in 2017, is driven for use in industries like manufacturing and logistics. Enterprise Edition 2, released in 2019, is Google’s latest attempt to save the Glass product. But the $999 product failed.
The decision to discontinue Google’s products comes amid a company-wide cost-cutting move. Like many of its peers, Google recently announced plans to lay off thousands of people amid fears of a recession and shifting demand for digital products due to the pandemic.
“Thank you for over a decade of innovation and collaboration,” Google wrote on its FAQ page when announcing the decision. The company will continue to support the phased-out Enterprise edition through September.
However, the dream of Google Glass continues. Snapchat’s parent company sells Spectacles, another set of smart glasses that have struggled for years to gain traction. Apple is said to be working on augmented reality glasses. And even after Glass’s debacle, Google said last year it was still testing other types of AR glasses. “Augmented reality (AR) opens up new ways to interact with the world around us,” the company said in a blog post last summer. “It can help us quickly and easily access the information we need, such as understanding another language or knowing the best way to get from point A to point B.”
A decade after Google launched Glass with equally ambitious goals, the future is still front and center.