What happened to Google Glass, the smart glasses that caused a sensation and ended up being forgotten

A man starts his day in New York. As he makes his coffee, a visual reminder with details about a date for the same night appears on his screen. field of view. Later, while she looks out the window, she receives information about what the weather will be like.

You also view text messages while doing other activities. Someone proposes to meet him, to which he responds using his voice: “let’s meet in front of Strand Books”. As he walks, the directions that appear in front of his eyes tell him where to go.

This New Yorker never uses his smartphone or any other similar device. He does everything with his glasses, which also have the ability to make and receive calls, record videos and take photos. That is how Google imagined Google Glass in 2012.

Google Glass is born

After many rumors, the Mountain View company presented its smart glasses project with a curious video called ‘Project Glass: One day…‘. The images tried to show the advantages of having this type of device on a typical day in a big city.

And the idea really seemed interesting. Google was putting on the table the possibility of having a glasses whose technology seemed to come from a science fiction film. This made them a desired device even before they were released.

The media exposure helped build a halo of hype. time magazine included Google Glass on its list of “best inventions of the year”. They appeared in one of the episodes of ‘The Simpsons’ and even featured prominently at New York Fashion Week, just to mention a few examples.

The project, which had emerged three years earlier as a secret initiative of the google x lab Driven by Eric Schmidt, it had started off on the right foot. Everything seemed to indicate that, if marketed, they would become a sales success with growth potential.

All that media fanfare, indeed, was not destined to fall on deaf ears. The search engine giant was determined to commercialize his idea and, why not, turn it into a star product. Thus, he released an initial model of the glasses in 2013 for developers called the “Explorer Edition.”

Google Glass Explorer Edition

It was offered at $1,500 and included the necessary hardware components to get started. create the first applications for the device. This was an elementary step to guarantee its success in the consumer market that it would theoretically end up reaching later.

But when these glasses began to be deployed, almost at the same time, the problems began. Many developers and testers They were quick to ensure that the system was riddled with errors and that the battery had a lousy life. This, however, was not the only drawback.

Google Glass 43

Google Glass Explorer Edition

The product, which had aroused great anticipation, had also just raised privacy concerns. What if someone was recording you without you knowing? How about going to the movies with your Google Glass? in enthusiasm was beginning to fadeand that the commercial product that Google wanted to launch had not yet arrived.

first blows

The company’s plans received the first blows, but continued on their way. The decision was made to extend the testing program. For 2013, select Explorer Edition users could invite a friend to join the program, giving them early access to the glasses expected to arrive in 2014.

At that time, in Xataka we had the opportunity to test the glasses. We experienced first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of its design, the interaction mechanics based on gestures and voice commands.

The truth is that the “beta” of Google Glass extended for too long. Along the way, even without reaching the general public, a version 2.0 with a built-in headset and even an accessories store was presented. But something was going on with the project, and the developers began to lose interest.

From Reuters they pointed out that nine of almost twenty companies that had begun to develop applications for Google glasses, they abandoned their efforts. And the presence of important applications, such as Twitter, was not guaranteed back then. Were we facing a death foretold? The answer would come in January 2015.

Google Glass 1

Google Glass Enterprise 2

In the first quarter of the new year, the Mountain View company decided to discontinue its Glass Explorer program. This meant stopping selling the initial model and giving the project a new approach. The glasses would no longer be aimed at the mass public, but at companies. However, we would have to wait to see the first fruits of this movement.

Oblivion, rise and fall

“Glass at Work”, the new era of glasses, officially launched in 2017. The new business edition, called Google Glass Enterprise, came with battery improvements, a multitude of sensors and professional applications from the hand of Google partners. Streye was one of them, offering to-do lists, real-time notifications for medical settings, QR code scanning, and more.

The project seemed to have risen from the ashes with great force, and such was the momentum that in 2019 a new generation arrived. The Google Glass Enterprise 2 embraced artificial intelligence and more conventional frames that adopted a design closer to prescription glasses and less to a futuristic device.

To what extent is it legal to use smart glasses like the ones on Facebook and record everything and everyone on the street?

Changes in focus and attempts to revive the idea were apparently not enough to keep it alive. Almost four years after the last update, Google decided to kill Google Glass for companies, that is, it stopped selling the Enterprise 2, putting an end to the dream of its futuristic glasses. From the company, however, they assure that they will continue working on other projects that involve virtual reality.

Google Images (1, 2) | Screenshots from the video Google Glass How-to: Getting Started | Antonio Zugaldia

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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