Google is pulling the plug on Glass Enterprise, the smart glasses product it was working on for the last ten years. In a short announcement posted on the company website, Google said the hardware can no longer be purchased, while the software will reach end-of-life in roughly six months’ time.
“Thank you for over a decade of innovation and partnership,” the announcement reads. “As of March 15, 2023, we will no longer sell Glass Enterprise Edition. We will continue supporting Glass Enterprise Edition until September 15, 2023.”
Glass Enterprise evolved from Google Glass, a smart glasses gadget that provided users with a head-worn display with simple and (at least in theory) useful information.
Years of evolution
Google Glass was first released in 2013 to much controversy. Tech enthusiasts and early adopters could buy it for $1,500 and it came with a small camera which raised major issues with privacy advocates. The project was supported by Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, but it could never shake off the image of every stalker’s best friend.
By 2017, Google pulled Google Glass and replaced it with Glass Enterprise, a B2B-oriented product whose goal was to help manual laborers and factory workers. The newest iteration, released in 2019, was being sold for $999.
This doesn’t mean it’s game over for the smart glasses wearable, though. As per a CNBC report, Google previewed a new pair of smartglasses last summer, one capable of translating and transcribing speech in real-time. At the time, the company also said it would continue working on AR glasses and testing them in public.
Other companies are also tapping into the AR potential. Facebook’s parent, Meta, recently released a smart version of Ray-Ban glasses, while Apple is reportedly working on a transparent-lens-kind-of product that can display outside videos to a virtual reality headset.
Finally, there’s Microsoft with its HoloLens product, although this may have been killed off by the recent layoffs at the tech giant.
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