Google has announced that it will no longer sell the latest Enterprise Edition of Google Glass. The smart glasses, first launched in 2013, aimed to provide users with access to a computer on their face, but the high price, clunky design and concerns about privacy led to the product being discontinued in 2015. The focus then shifted from consumers to enterprise, with the first Enterprise edition launched in 2017, followed by the Enterprise Edition 2 in 2019, which failed to gain traction with the $999 product. Google’s decision to discontinue the product comes as part of cost-cutting measures across the company. Despite the setback, Google says it continues to test other augmented reality glasses.
Google’s previous failed attempts
Google Glass was initially marketed for a general audience, with the promise of giving people access to a computer on their face rather than having to pull out a phone. However, the beta versions failed to gain traction due to the high price, clunky design and concerns about privacy, leading to the product being discontinued in 2015.
The first Enterprise edition of Glass, announced in 2017, was pushed for use in industries such as manufacturing and logistics. The Enterprise Edition 2, released in 2019, was Google’s last attempt at saving the Glass product. However, the $999 product failed to catch on.
Cost cutting across Google
Google’s decision to discontinue the product comes amid cost cuts across the company. Like many of its peers, Google has recently announced plans to lay off thousands in response to recession fears and shifting pandemic demand for digital products.
Future of AR glasses
Snapchat’s parent company sells Spectacles, another set of smart glasses that has struggled over the years to gain traction. Apple is reportedly working on augmented reality glasses. And even after the setback of Glass, Google says it continues to test other AR glasses.
“Augmented reality (AR) is opening up new ways to interact with the world around us,” the company said in a blog post last summer. “It can help us quickly and easily access the information we need — like understanding another language or knowing how best to get from point A to point B.”