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. Via: CNBC (opens in new tab)
Google Glass Enterprise is no more
After several failed attempts to make Google Glass a consumer success, the tech giant switched gears and targeted the enterprise market. However, after four years, Google has announced that the Glass Enterprise Edition will no longer be available for purchase, effectively ending the project.
What went wrong with Google Glass Enterprise?
Despite initial hype and excitement, the consumer version of Google Glass was discontinued due to privacy and pricing concerns. The company then shifted its focus to the enterprise market, targeting industries such as healthcare and manufacturing, where workers could use the device for hands-free tasks such as taking photos or accessing manuals. However, even with a revamped design and improved hardware, the Glass Enterprise failed to take off due to its high price point and limited functionality.
What does the end of Glass Enterprise mean?
The end of the project not only marks the end of an era for Google Glass, but also a reminder of the difficulties in trying to introduce new technology. However, the company has stated that it will continue to support existing Glass Enterprise customers with software updates and troubleshooting.
What’s next for Google?
Despite the setback with Glass Enterprise, Google remains committed to developing and introducing new technology. The company is currently investing heavily in artificial intelligence and has also launched several successful hardware products such as the Pixel smartphone and Home smart speaker. Therefore, it is likely that Google will continue to pursue new projects and innovations in the future.
In summary, after four years, Google Glass Enterprise has bitten the dust. Despite initial excitement and a shift to the enterprise market, the device failed to gain traction due to high pricing and limited functionality. The company will continue to support existing customers, but the project is effectively over. While this marks the end of an era for Google Glass, the company remains committed to innovating and developing new technology in the future.
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