The long and painful death of Google Glass has finally come

After 10 years and numerous market failures, Google Glass is finally dead. The tech giant announced that it will discontinue sales of its enterprise edition and withdraw support for the product in September. The headphones will still work, and third-party companies will still be free to develop apps for the platform, but Google won’t have anything to do with it anymore. Similarly, if the devices fail on or after September 16, Google will not replace them “under existing process.”

There’s a bit of a gray area with Google’s own apps. “Meet on Glass” may still work after support is removed, but if it develops bugs or simply stops working, Google won’t do anything to fix it.

There have been several versions of Glass, but none have been commercially successful. Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 became available for direct sale about two years ago and is the latest version of Google Glass on the market. Priced at $1,000, the high-tech glasses were designed to allow employees to have their hands free while viewing information. While the price was certainly prohibitive in the case of Enterprise Edition 2, other editions flopped due to things like perceived lack of utility or privacy concerns.

It may not actually be the end.

While the latest version of Google Glass may not be on the market, a similar product may be somewhere in the pipeline. Google has long expressed interest in AR headsets and recently announced a partnership with Samsung and Qualcomm. While that partnership is likely to result in a Samsung XR headset hitting the market, Google will be free to develop its own.

There are already rumors that Google has spent a lot of money on AR research and plans to produce a new generation of smart glasses. Even if its short-term plans only involve producing the software foundation for Samsung’s upcoming AR headsets, it’s unlikely the California-based company will be happy simply sticking with that. He likes to have his own products lying around. Lots of phones use Android, but Google still felt the need to produce the Pixel. The company may feel the same way about AR glasses. Google also hates to be left behind, as the fiasco surrounding the Bard presentation showed us. With Apple seemingly close to going public with its attempt at an XR headset, you can expect Google to be reasonably close.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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