On Wednesday, Google announced that it has stopped selling its Glass Enterprise smart glasses. The company will also stop supporting its software in September of 2023. This marks the end of a smart glasses product that made waves back in 2013 as the first real augmented reality product from a big tech company.
Glass Enterprise was the successor to Google Glass, which featured a tiny rectangular screen that sat in the corner of the wearer’s field of view.
The initial price of $1,500 and limited availability hampered Google Glass’ ability to catch on as a mainstream product. The term “glasshole” was coined, making the Google Glass product less of a cool fashion statement and more of a fashion faux paus.
In 2017, Google pivoted to enterprises and dropped the price of the product to under $1,000. Glass Enterprise was repositioned as a training and organizational tool.
Competition from Apple
The timing of Google’s announcement comes at a curious time. Apple’s rumored upcoming VR/AR headset is expected to come soon.
The End of Google Glass
Google Glass may be another victim of Google’s long list of failed and cancelled products, but it received a decade of support before its ultimate demise.
In the end, Google Glass was ahead of its time. Its high initial price point, limited capability, and lack of consumer awareness doomed it as a mainstream product.
Could another AR product from Google succeed where Glass failed? Only time will tell.