Google to end sales of its Google Glass eyewear.
Well, not entirely but just its current generation. Instead the company will focus on next-generation Glass, with a new team working on its development at Google, under current manager Ivy Ross. However, Google announced that it remained committed to launching the consumer version of Glass. The company added that the Explorer program was kind of “an ‘open beta’ to hear what people had to say.”
“Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk. Well, we still have some work to do, but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run”, the company wrote on its Google+ page.
The Google Glass project was formally announced in April 2012, when Google released an advert detailing a possible future use of the technology and created a Google+ page for the project. In April 2013, Google started shipping the Explorer edition to developers; however, general sale of the device to the public were not made available.
Over time, the company was able to create a huge interest in wearable computing and promised a lot despite a number of social and legal barriers. In fact, a developer survey by Reuters in November 2014 had found that more than half had abandoned plans to develop apps for the Glass.
Google is expected to launch version 2.0 sometime in 2015, with a more powerful processor from Intel. See my colleague James Moar’s blog on the same here. However, it seems highly unlikely that Google will manage to launch a consumer edition this year.
Our latest research on Smart Glasses found that a combination of lengthy time-to-market and lack of a key consumer use case has resulted in low levels of shipments and adoption in the smart glasses space, with the result that shipments are unlikely to exceed 10 million per annum until 2018.
The category including connected head gear (AR & VR) will continue to grow and will have a significant presence as evident from the recently concluded CES. We expect a greater utility within the enterprise and healthcare segments, which is likely to spur further development until the devices catch on outside these markets.