Goodbye Google Glass, we knew you well

I do know not less than one TC staffer who’s gutted by the inevitable second dying of Google Glass. I gained’t name them out by title, however will say that I empathize with seeing a tech large reverse the truck to drive over a beloved piece of expertise as soon as once more. Is it doable to be forward of your time twice? Or do it’s a must to admit at a sure level that yours is an alternate timeline?

Right here’s what we all know for certain: The world nonetheless wasn’t prepared for Glass, even after a product makeover and shift in focus. Google confirmed plans to as soon as once more finish help for its misunderstood little bit of AR tech, writing:

Thanks for over a decade of innovation and partnership. As of March 15, 2023, we’ll not promote Glass Enterprise Version. We are going to proceed supporting Glass Enterprise Version till September 15, 2023.

Not a completely interrupted decade, after all. Glass celebrated its tenth anniversary final month. The unique developer model of the head-worn show launched in February 2013, starting its Glass Explorers program two months later and at last opening issues as much as the general public in Could 2014. Parodies ensued. Lower than a yr later, it introduced that former Apple designer and Nest co-founder Tony Fadell was engaged on a follow-up.

Google Glass disappeared for a bit in 2015, thanking Explorers for taking part in alongside. Rumors of its dying had apparently been a bit exaggerated — or not less than untimely. Particularly, Google Glass was shifting its focus to the enterprise. Actually, that’s one other means the product line was forward of its time. HoloLens launched a yr later from Microsoft, with enterprise as its central thesis. And lately, of us like Meta, HTC and Magic Leap see the class as a saving grace on the best way to mainstreaming AR/VR/MR.

Is sensible. You stand to make some huge cash promoting these merchandise to companies in bulk. And IT departments are sometimes keen to shell out extra for merchandise than your common shopper. A second enterprise version arrived in 2019 with some modest upgrades.

The timing and the seeming finality of this announcement are fascinating. A lot of the trade is ready to see what Apple delivers later this yr with its rumored combined actuality headset. In fact, Google has been rumored to be engaged on a brand new AR product below the codename Mission Iris. In line with a report from early final yr:

Early prototypes being developed at a facility within the San Francisco Bay Space resemble a pair of ski goggles and don’t require a tethered connection to an exterior energy supply.

The product would presumably be a extra direct competitor to the present crop of XR merchandise, together with Apple. Google has additionally had its personal checkered previous with VR merchandise, together with Cardboard and Daydream. The latter was discontinued in 2019, the previous lastly finish of lifing in 2021.

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