Google Glass smart glasses were once slated as the next big thing in tech. However, the product left the market almost as quickly as it arrived.
Google Glass arrived and left in a very short space of time. While not all of Google’s products and services are destined to be instant hits commercially, Glass would have been another smart product that could have easily made its way into smart home networks. Unfortunately, Glass went the way of Google+, and so many other Google services, ending the possibility of a more immersive connected experience.
Google had been developing smart glasses for multiple years before a public retail version became available in 2014, following a limited-availability run in 2013. This was during a time when smart devices, multitasking, and button-free commands became main topics and talking points in the tech industry. The company felt that then was the right time to push Google Glass to consumers, as it offered a hand-free means of viewing content and performing tasks. The idea of users being able to take phone calls and use platforms like Facebook any time, and without a smartphone, gave Google the early impression that Glass might be a success.
However, Google Glass was a product often avoided by consumers for one reason or another. Despite all that it offered, Google and other companies found alternate new smart devices more welcoming and successful, such as TVs, watches, and speakers. While other smart glasses are still available from manufacturers such as Vuzix, Google failed to meet its lofty expectations of pioneering this futuristic consumer product. A combination of underwhelming sales and reception from consumers led to the smart tech scene moving forward without Google Glass.
Google Glass Still Exists Today
The Explorer Edition of Glass was only on the market for a short time before it was discontinued. Though it is still available online from second-hand merchants and it can still download its final update released in 2019. There are two major reasons why the product failed from the consumer perspective and the first was the design. At the time, Glass looked rather clunky and was still considered to be in the prototype phase. While a newer version did improve the design, it wasn’t enough to make a huge difference in sales. The second reason is the concerns consumers had about the product possibly collecting data from users or being vulnerable to hacking from outsiders. It is also likely the $1,500 price tag didn’t help much either.
However, Google isn’t entirely finished with its Glass ambitions. In May 2019, the company released the second version of its Enterprise Edition model. This pair of glasses are advertised as a risk-free means of increasing productivity in the workplace, as the screen inside the right lens allows employees to multitask without the need of turning to a phone, another program, or another computer. These spectacles also come with AR and VR capabilities, USB-C charging, and an improved processor and camera. As a result, while it’s no longer commercially available as a retail product, Google Glass still does exist.
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