Right now it seems that most people think that AR headsets are the logical evolution of our current technology, the device of the future. However in recent years, many of the companies that have tried to push towards this future have ended up falling flat on their face or producing lackluster products. One such company is Google, with their Google Glass AR headset. Arguably the most known AR headset, the Google Glass probably had the most likely chance go success, just do to the shear size and resources of the company behind it. There was a ton of hype leading up to the Glass’ release date, but when that date finally came in 2013, it was clear that it didn’t live up to those lofty expectations and that the technology just wasn’t ready for primetime yet. The first generation model, known as the Explorer Edition, was penned as a sort of an early access beta program for those who couldn’t wait to see what could be the future of mobile computing, all for the low price of $1500. The Explorer Edition had a few key features which predominately were sending texts, checking emails, asking Google things, taking pictures with the built in camera and watching videos on YouTube. While these features were cool, many people didn’t find them to be enough to justify the hefty price tag.
That brings us to today, where Google has announced that they will no longer be supporting Google Glass Explorer Edition with software updates . This comes after Google restructured its approach to AR in 2017, taking a similar standpoint to Microsoft in using it predominatley for enterprise use with the release of the Google Glass Enterprise Edition, which will continue to be supported for the forseeable future. Although the Glass technically lives on in Enterprise, the original Glass, a deivce that was meant to make AR mainstream and put it in the hands of the people, is basically no more, and with that the future of AR is as uncertain as ever as its arguably most likely to succeed player has dropped out of the race. However, this does not mean AR is done yet, Apple is rumored to come out with their own AR headset, which seems quite possible given their recent push on AR technology. The story of mainstream oriented AR could be similar to the story of the personal computer , with the technologies starting out as predominantly business oriented ones and eventually after many failed attempts and iterations, breaking out into the mainstream. If this is the case, one day we will all be using AR headsets, and the Google Glass will be seen as one of the many failed attempts neccesary towards perfecting a technology so that it is good enough to become a mainstream one.