Daqri, known for its business-focused augmented reality headsets, is reportedly shutting down. TechCrunch wrote yesterday that the company’s headquarters had been shuttered and many employees had been laid off, citing reports from former staff members. An email also apparently stated that Daqri is trying to sell its assets in preparation for a shutdown.
Road to VR elaborated on the email, which said that the company would end its Smart Glasses and Worksense programs by the end of September. The asset sale would “put an end to [Daqri’s] industrial wearables business and begin the wind down of the company.” Daqri didn’t immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
Daqri would be only the latest augmented reality hardware company to go under. The list includes Microsoft HoloLens competitor Meta, which sold its assets in January after a long financial struggle, although the technology may be resuscitated at a new company. AR glasses company Osterhout Design Group collapsed around the same time. Intel also abandoned a smart glasses project in 2018. Remaining hardware companies include Magic Leap, North, and Vuzix, as well as Microsoft’s HoloLens division.
Daqri was founded in 2010 and released an AR “smart helmet” in 2016. The helmet was designed to make industrial jobs easier by overlaying instructions on complex equipment — a relatively common use for AR headsets. The company followed up with a set of smaller $4,995 smart glasses for professionals in 2017. The Wall Street Journal reported that year that Daqri had raised $275 million in venture capital.
However, one TechCrunch source said that the company had faced difficulty actually selling the glasses — in part because of “difficulties in training workers to use the futuristic hardware.”