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Google Discontinues Glass Enterprise Edition, Ending an Era of AR Headsets

Google has officially announced the discontinuation of its Glass Enterprise Edition 2 headsets, ceasing sales as of March 15th, 2023, with support to be terminated later this year. This move marks the end of an era for the company’s AR headset lineup.

The original Google Glass headsets were a commercial failure, prompting the company to pivot the AR product towards businesses and industrial customers. This revised approach gave birth to the Glass Enterprise Edition, which provided workers with a hands-free solution to stay connected. The second-generation update, released in 2019, was built on the Snapdragon XR1 hardware platform.

Google has since updated many of the pages related to the Glass Enterprise Edition to reflect the discontinuation of headset sales. However, existing customers will continue to receive support for the device until September 15, 2023. The term “support” in this context means that customers can still receive replacement devices under existing programs until the specified deadline. Google has stated that no software updates are planned for the device.

Post-deprecation, all existing headsets will continue to function as normal, and third-party developers can still update their applications responsible for business-specific tasks. One notable exception is the “Meet on Glass” app, which launched less than a year ago and is only guaranteed to work until the September 15 deadline. After this date, the app may cease to function correctly.

This decision comes at an interesting time for Google Glass, as the platform recently launched an early access program to test deeper integration with Google’s Pixel phones through a new companion app. This integration allowed access to popular Google apps and services, such as Google Tasks, Google Translate, and Google Camera.

Despite discontinuing the Glass Enterprise Edition, Google continues to work on Android-powered AR headsets. Evidence of this includes the company’s acquisition of Focals by North and their exploration of smart ring controls. At the annual I/O conference last May, Google showcased a work-in-progress live transcription and translation feature on AR smart glasses.

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