End of an era: Google kills its last Google Glass product
Google takes Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 off the market. A new generation of headsets is waiting in the wings.
The first consumer-oriented Google Glass was released around ten years ago and was a huge flop. A story that journalist Quinn Myers has rehashed in a new book.
The product was pulled from the market in 2015, only to be revived in 2017 in the form of an Enterprise Edition aimed at businesses and developers. The smartglasses seemed to be a success, as Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 followed in 2019.
The end of Google Glass
Apparently, it was not successful enough. On March 15, 2023, Google announced that it would stop selling the Enterprise Edition. "Thank you for more than a decade of innovation and partnership," the company wrote on the product's website.
According to an FAQ, the data glasses will only be supported until September 15, 2023. The device will still work, but will no longer receive software updates from Google.
The end of Google Glass marks the end of AR's first difficult decade. Neither Google Glass nor other similar products found the mainstream success they had hoped for. Magic Leap is now focusing on business customers with Magic Leap 2, while the future of Microsoft's Hololens headset is currently uncertain.
New devices are on the horizon
Google is likely to make a fresh start with more modern display technology in the next few years.
One could be a pair of smartglasses that the company has teased already and is currently testing in public. The technology is likely to come from North, a startup and smartglasses maker that Google acquired in 2020.
The other could be a mixed reality headset that Google is reportedly working on. It is codenamed Project Iris and could be similar to the Meta Quest Pro. More important than the hardware could be the XR operating system that Google is developing for the device. Google could use it to differentiate itself from Meta and Apple.
We're gearing up for #GoogleIO and we want to know - what excites you most about the future of AR? Sound off in the replies! ↓
— Google AR & VR (@GoogleARVR) March 11, 2023
In a statement, Google spokesperson Patrick Seybold told The Verge that Google remains "deeply committed to AR." The company has "been building AR into many Google products and we’ll continue to look at ways to bring new, innovative AR experiences across our product portfolio."
Recently, Google teased via Twitter that there could be news in the AR space at its I/O developer conference in May.