Google will no longer sell the latest Enterprise Edition of Google Glass, the company announced this week, effectively killing off an innovative but failed wearable product line from another era that many consumers may have assumed was long gone.
First unveiled in 2013, 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. But the smartglasses were discontinued in 2015 after beta versions failed to gain traction due to its high price tag, clunky design and concerns about privacy.
Google then shifted the focus from consumers to enterprise. 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. But the $999 product failed to catch on.
“Thank you for over a decade of innovation and partnership,” Google wrote on its FAQ page announcing the decision. The company will continue to support the phased out Enterprise Edition until September.
Google did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
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.
Still, the dream of Google Glass lives on. Snapchat’s parent company sells Spectacles, another set of smartglasses 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 said last year it was continuing 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.”
A decade after Google launched Glass with a similarly ambitious objective, the future is still coming into focus.