Google Glass disappeared for a while in 2015, thanks to Explorer’s help. Apparently, the rumors of his death were a little exaggerated – or at least premature. Notably, Google Glass has shifted the focus to the company. In that sense, the product line was ahead of its time. HoloLens, which he started a year later at Microsoft, was centered around the thesis business. And recently, Meta, HTC, Magic Leap, etc. see this category as salvation on the road to AR/VR/MR mainstreaming.
What we do know for sure is that even after the product overhaul and focus shift, the world wasn’t ready for Glass yet. Of course, it’s not a completely interrupted decade. Glass turned ten years old last month. The original developer version of the head-mounted display launched in February 2013, launched the Glass Explorers program two months later, and finally opened to the public in May 2014. A parody followed. Less than a year later, it was announced that former Apple designer and Nest co-founder Tony Fadell was working on a successor.
Makes sense. You can make a lot of money by selling these products in bulk to businesses. Also, IT departments often spend more on products than the average consumer. In 2019, his second Enterprise Edition was released with some modest upgrades. The timing and clear finality of this announcement is interesting. Much in the industry is waiting to see what Apple has to offer with its rumored mixed reality headset later this year. Of course, Google is rumored to be working on his new AR product codenamed Project Iris.
This product could be a direct competitor to the current generation of his XR products, including Apple’s. Google also has its own rich history with his VR products such as Cardboard and Daydream. The latter will be retired in 2019 and the former will finally be retired in 2021.