Google kills Glass Enterprise, but big tech’s AR dreams live on

After a run that lasted for a decade, the tip has come for Google Glass, with the announcement this week that the tech behemoth will discontinue the enterprise model of the augmented actuality (AR) glasses.Gross sales of Google Glass Enterprise had been halted as of Wednesday, although help will proceed for an additional six months, based on an organization announcement.“After September 15, 2023, you’ll proceed to have the ability to use the Glass Enterprise Version machine and current software program. No software program updates from Google are deliberate,” Google mentioned in a FAQ.The corporate mentioned that damaged units could be changed by way of the prevailing course of — by way of which customers contact their distributors or resellers to submit a alternative request —till September 15.Google famous that third events are accountable for sustaining their apps, and that no additional software program updates from Google are deliberate. System pictures, nonetheless, will stay accessible on the system pictures web page, till a minimum of April 1, 2024.Google Glass by no means gained traction amongst usersDespite producing loads of curiosity and publicity, Glass — the primary, shopper model of which was introduced in 2012 — confronted difficulties in gaining widespread acceptance, partly as a result of a design that made it appear like a gadget slightly than a style accent. Moreover, the machine’s means to take photographs and seize movies with out others understanding about it contributed to its lack of recognition. Google Glass was largely discontinued for non-enterprise customers in 2015, after which the corporate shifted its consideration in direction of exploring the potential of the headset for companies and builders.The primary version of Google Glass Enterprise, launched in 2017, helped a “number of industries — from logistics, to manufacturing, to discipline providers — do their jobs extra effectively by offering hands-free entry to the data and instruments they should full their work,” Google claimed. “Employees can use Glass to entry checklists, view directions or ship inspection photographs or movies.” Google Glass Enterprise Version 2, launched in 2019, would assist “companies additional enhance the effectivity of their staff,” Google mentioned.Amongst different points, nonetheless, the worth at all times appeared excessive for the machine. Whereas the unique Explorer Version, which value $1,500, was a giant price ticket  for a product that, as Google ultimately conceded, was basically a prototype, the Enterprise Version 2 didn’t get less expensive ($999) and didn’t supply a lot over the unique model.Tech firms proceed to develop AR, VR devicesBig tech firms are nonetheless pursuing the idea of head-mounted visualization applied sciences, variously known as sensible glasses, augmented actuality glasses, digital actuality glasses, and even mixed-reality shows. Whereas there’s disagreement about the right way to label any specific machine, business observers generally say that whereas VR presents a very digital surroundings, AR overlays digital data on the true, bodily world. Meta, for eample, has launched Ray-Ban sensible glasses, with cameras however no shows. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has talked a few product line that resembles Google Glass, and by rechristening the corporate Meta in 2021, confirmed he was betting massive on digital actuality, and the gear that the expertise requires. Apple is getting ready a VR headset that has the power to make use of outward-facing cameras to indicate the exterior surroundings, just like a clear lens.Microsoft has HoloLens, its personal augmented actuality glasses for enterprise. (The corporate, nonetheless, lately laid off a phase of the crew engaged on it.)Though Google has discontinued Glass, it doesn’t indicate that the corporate has deserted its pursuit of augmented actuality. Whereas some commentators argue that Google Glass shouldn’t be thought of true AR because it displayed solely fundamental data, in June final yr, Google previewed a unique kind of sensible glasses, able to real-time speech translation and transcription, and mentioned it could proceed to check prototypes of augmented actuality glasses in public. 

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