Google Glass: A Revolutionary Idea that Never Quite Took Off
Google introduced “Project Glass” in 2012 with a video that promised to bring a seismic change in the mobile landscape. However, it has been almost 11 years since the first announcement, and the AR glasses never quite took off.
The Rise and Fall of Google Glass
Despite Google’s best efforts to generate consumer interest in Google Glass, the $1,500 price tag and the bad reputation that followed it (with users referred to as “Glassholes” for taking photos of people without their consent) made people hesitant to wear it.
In 2017, Google launched an Enterprise Edition version of the AR glasses, which was designed for corporate use. This version was lighter, made for long-term use, and had a longer-lasting battery. Two years later, the second-generation Enterprise Edition was released. AGCO, an agricultural equipment manufacturer, was able to reduce production time for some of its equipment by as much as 25% with Google Glass.
However, Google recently announced that it is discontinuing sales of the second-generation Google Glass Enterprise Edition. On the Glass website, Google wrote, “Thank you for over a decade of innovation and partnership. As of March 15, 2023, we will no longer sell Glass Enterprise Edition. We will continue supporting Glass Enterprise Edition until September 15, 2023.” Yet, companies using the Enterprise Edition of Google Glass may still be able to use them even after support for the device ends.
The Future of AR Glasses from Google
Despite the disappointing outcome of Google Glass, the tech giant is not giving up on AR glasses. During the Google I/O 2022 developer conference, the company previewed glasses that could translate a spoken foreign language in real-time and transcribe the conversation on the glasses. Google even released a video showing how its latest smart glasses would work. This preview marked a far cry from the overly ambitious “Project Glass” video that Google released years ago, proving that there may have been some lessons learned.