Google stops selling its biz-grade augmented reality specs • The Register

Google has halted sales of its enterprise-grade augmented reality specs, Glass Enterprise Edition.

An updated support page dated March 15 says support will end on September 15, after which users can continue to run the laptops, but no software updates will be provided.

Even the Meet on Glass vid chat app Google pre-installed on the devices is not supported. Google kindly advised that the app “may stop working at any time after September 15, 2023.”

System images for the devices will remain online until at least April 1, 2024. But after that, Google Glass Enterprise Edition users may be in the dark.

Google’s announcement doesn’t say why it’s closed Glass. The register assumes the product wasn’t profitable or widespread enough for the ad and search giant to keep it alive at a time when it has laid off 12,000 workers.

Technical specifications have proven to be a tough business for Google over the years.

The company showed off its first Glass device in 2012, pitching it as a device for consumers — an idea that produced quite a few “the smartphone is doomed … DOOMED!” forecast.

Google predicted it could move ten million units of the device, but didn’t come close to that number.

The company then pivoted — or should it re-focus — its efforts by announcing the Glass Enterprise Edition. A hardware upgrade followed in 2019.

Now it seems that Glass has been crushed in both business and consumer incarnations.

The register is aware of similar products, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, which have achieved modest success in areas such as architecture, engineering and product design.

But the world’s most prominent use of the technology — the US Army’s plan to deploy thousands of HoloLens devices — has seen delays and had its funding pulled by Congress after it failed user acceptance tests when soldiers became physically ill using it.

The Army is now looking for a device that won’t make warriors’ heads spin.

Google Glass Enterprise will not be that device.

Perhaps Meta’s Oculus is up to the task: two years ago, Zuckerberg’s baby had reached Google’s goal of ten million headset sales. And the artist formerly known as Facebook continues to sink billions into metaverse research even as it lays off over 20,000 workers. ®

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