A tech giant is once again hiding its smartglasses under shades
Google has announced the end of its much-maligned Google Glass, reflecting the company’s ongoing cost-cutting efforts. Glass was Google’s first attempt to cash in on the augmented reality smartglasses trend, with the first prototype released in 2013 for $1,500. However, the product was cancelled in 2015 due to low demand, high prices, and consumer privacy concerns.
Google released an enterprise version of Glass in 2017, but the product failed to capture the public’s attention. Google made another attempt in 2019 with the release of the Enterprise Edition 2, which retailed for $999. Despite these efforts, Google has announced that the Glass Enterprise Edition will no longer be sold after March 15, 2023.
While Google hasn’t ruled out a future wearable eye product, the company has embraced austerity and cut costs wherever possible in a slowing economy. The company laid off 12,000 employees in January 2023, reflecting its ongoing efforts to streamline operations and cut costs.
The demise of Glass reflects not only Google’s struggles with smart glasses, but also the company’s ongoing struggles to define its place in a rapidly changing tech landscape. While the concept of smart glasses has become less novel in recent years, with Snap and Apple both releasing their own versions, Glass was widely panned for its bulky appearance and high price tag.
As the augmented reality market expands, with total revenues expected to reach $142.4 billion in 2023, Google’s decision to discontinue Glass represents a missed opportunity. However, it also reflects the company’s willingness to cut its losses and move on from products that do not resonate with customers.
Finally, the demise of Glass serves as a reminder that even the most powerful tech companies are not immune to failure. However, it also underscores the importance of innovation and staying ahead of the curve in an industry that moves at lightning speed. It will be interesting to see what new products and technologies Google develops in the coming years as it continues to navigate these challenges.