Google Glass largely went off sale to consumers in 2015, and Google has since been focusing on how the headset could be useful for businesses and developers. But even those efforts have come to an end. The company is no longer selling Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, Google spokesperson Patrick Seybold told The Verge. A help document spotted by 9to5Google says the company will end support for the AR headset on September 15th.
According to the company, the devices should still work after that date, but it’s not planning on releasing any software updates. The support cutoff also extends to the built-in Meet app and repair service. “The app may stop working at any time after September 15, 2023,” warns Google’s support page, before saying that “Google will continue to replace devices under the existing process” until that date.
The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 was announced in 2019 and sold for $999. The company pitched it as a way to give people working in medical, agricultural, and factory settings a heads-up display that would feed them information while keeping their hands free. It hasn’t had the cultural impact that the $1,500 consumer-focused Glass Explorer Edition did, but it added to a buzzing sense that augmented and mixed reality were the next best thing. That was around the time that Magic Leap was showing off and promoting its headset and when we were catching glimpses of Microsoft’s military-focused Hololens.
So far, the future we were imagining back then hasn’t really come to pass. Magic Leap’s most recent headset is focused on enterprises instead of everyday computing, the Army’s Hololens tests haven’t exactly been going well, and other companies working on augmented reality have had to cut back on their ambitions. And as the economy has started to turn, companies are looking for ways to trim the fat — Google alone has announced that it’s cutting 12,000 jobs and made big changes to its startup incubator. Companies are looking at their bottom lines and asking workers to double down on what’s actually making money.
It’s tough to say whether Glass specifically has a future — currently, google.com/glass just has a message saying “thank you for over a decade of innovation and partnership,” and announcing the discontinuation. But last year Google seemed keen on it, announcing that it would be testing augmented reality glasses with cameras in public and showing a (slightly unrealistic) demo of two people using AR to communicate in different languages during its I/O keynote.
Seybold told The Verge that the company is still “deeply committed to AR” and that it’s “been building AR into many Google products and we’ll continue to look at ways to bring new, innovative AR experiences across our product portfolio.” It’s always possible that the company’s planning some other face-mounted experience, but for now, Glass is getting another entry in the Google graveyard.