If you remember Google Glass, the augmented reality headset introduced in 2013, canceled in 2015, then brought back in a business-oriented “enterprise edition” in 2017, you may be surprised to know Google has finally decided to end that edition this week.
Google announced on its Glass page that it would stop selling the enterprise edition immediately, and would end support of it in September.
Google Glass’ first prototype dropped in 2011 as a project from what USA Today called its “black ops innovation lab”, Project X. Though that prototype weighed eight pounds, by the time it was introduced for sale to the public, it weighed about the same as a pair of sunglasses, according to The New York Times.
Though there was a lot of fanfare about Google Glass, the product was met with low sales and battles over privacy, and not just with the user. According to Tom’s Guide, one of the biggest concerns was over how Glass could take videos and photos of people without the subject knowing.
Also, a Google Glass unit costs $1,500.
Google Glass reintroduced for businesses in 2017
In 2015, Google took Glass off the market, then reintroduced it in 2017 as a business-centric model. In 2019, Google was selling a $999 version.
The end of Google Glass comes at a time when other tech concerns, like Meta and Apple, are going further into augmented reality, according to CNBC.
In addition, as Tom’s Guide points out, the program Google Lens, which employs Google search on images, likely owes a great deal to Glass.