Google abandons Google Glass Enterprise, end of early AR project

Alphabet’s Glass used in manufacturing


Google has stopped selling its Glass Enterprise smart glasses, the company announced on Wednesday on its website. Google will also stop supporting its software in September, the company said.

The move marks the end of the line for one of the first – and still one of the most recognized – lines of smart glasses from a major tech company.

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Glass Enterprise was the successor to Google Glass, a lightweight eyewear product that displayed tiny information on a transparent screen in the user’s field of vision.

The Glass was first sold to developers and early adopters in 2013 for $1,500 and quickly captured the imagination of tech enthusiasts. But despite the support of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s Glass project never caught on as a mainstream product. The built-in camera led to fight for privacyand the product became the butt of jokes on late night television.

In 2017, Google positioned the product as a tool for businesses to run apps like streaming medical appointments or training workers in a factory.

Google recently released a new $999 version of the hardware in 2019.

Google’s retirement comes as rivals including Meta And Appleare investing in augmented reality and virtual reality technology that could end up in devices far more sophisticated than Google Glass.

Meta has released Ray-Ban smart glasses with cameras but no display and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken publicly about a final Google Glass-like shape for the product line.

Apple is would have prepare a virtual reality headset that can use video from outward-facing cameras to display the outside world, like a transparent lens.

Microsoft has its own augmented reality glasses for businesses, HoloLens, but the company would have laid off parts of the team that worked on it earlier this year, and the device’s creator, Alex Kipman, left the company in 2022.

The discontinuation of Glass does not mean that Google has abandoned augmented reality or smart glasses. Last summer, Google previewed another pair of smart glasses that can translate and transcribe speech in real time, and said it would continue to test prototype augmented reality glasses in public.

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