Google Glass, Google’s smart glasses, were meant to be revolutionary but were released before they were ready and had a number of quality issues.

Google Glass existed for almost exactly 10 years before being discontinued.Google Glass’ failure came amid widespread quality issues and a general lack of adoption.Apple’s smart glasses, the Apple Vision Pro, seem to be succeeding where Google Glass failed.

First announced in 2012, and then released to a select number of product testers in 2013, Google Glass was thought by many tech experts and industry watchers to be a revolutionary new device that would change the way human beings and technology interacted.

With the benefit of hindsight, we now know those hopes were overblown.

So, what went wrong? A cocktail of factors led to the failure of Google Glass. But before we discuss the demise, let’s establish a baseline understanding of this once-promising hardware.

What did Google Glass do?

Google Glass was first developed by a lab formerly known as Google X. The secretive research initiative, which also developed the self-driving car technology now known as Waymo, is now a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Google Glass was like a heads-up display and a mini computer joined together in one pair of glasses. It placed a small cube of glass just before its wearer’s right eye and had a camera inset into the frame beside that cube.

The camera could be used to do things like identify objects or locations or project a restaurant’s menu or a subway station’s schedule before the user’s vision in real time. It could also share images and videos via Google Meet.

Google Glass even integrated with Google Calendar and could show wearers their schedules or event notifications.

Google Glass used the Google search engine to summon information, allowing wearers to navigate the world hands-free and with their eyes raised from their phone while still enjoying all the benefits of a smart device.

The hardware was controlled via voice command or a touchpad on the side of the frame. Google Glass could also do many things a smartphone can, like send and receive texts, take photos, and so on.

Why did Google Glass fail?

Google launched several editions of Google Glass — some for consumers and others for businesses — but none achieved widespread adoption.

Google Glass was released before it was ready. Early users complained about short battery life, slow upload times, inferior camera quality, and spotty voice control and voice recognition abilities.

The system often misheard words and was unable to pick up commands over loud background noise. And despite being essentially a smart pair of glasses, the physical design of early Google Glass editions was not that smart: the arms of the glasses did not fold down, so storing a Google Glass when it was not being worn was a frustration.

It also must be said that, in many ways, Google Glass was an answer to a problem that did not exist. Despite the best efforts of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who frequently wore the glasses in public, the public did not have much interest in the technology.

In fact, many people hated the sense that they were always being filmed and monitored by people wearing Google Glass.

Though the technology had a brief ascendence used in professional settings, with businesses like Volkswagen and Boeing seeing increased productivity in workers wearing a headset, even the specialized “Enterprise Edition” of Google Glass failed. There was simply not enough adoption.

Can you still buy Google Glass?

You can find pairs of Google Glass for sale on Amazon and on eBay and at certain other platforms, so you can still purchase a set for yourself. But Google no longer offers any support for the device, thus if you have an issue with the hardware, you’re on your own.

There will be no further updates, no technical assistance, and certainly no repair or replacement of a Google Glass bought via a third-party seller.

You can expect to pay between $150 and $300 on average for a Google Glass set today, though some Enterprise and Expedition editions sell for much more than that. In comparison, a brand-new Apple Vision Pro currently costs $3,499.

How is Apple Vision Pro different from Google Glass?

Unlike Google Glass, which used only voice and touch control, users can control the Apple Vision Pro through highly precise hand motions.

Whereas Google Glass used a small, semi-transparent screen perched before one eye, an Apple Vision Pro headset fully covers both eyes and can create a truly immersive experience.

And whereas Google Glass simply added to its user’s real-time experience, Apple Vision Pro can transform it. The former can display videos, whereas the latter brings you into the visual experience.

Google Glass and Apple Vision Pro also used different control features. As noted, Google Glass was controlled by voice or by touch.

Apple Vision Pro is controlled by hand motions and voice, with those motions being highly precise. You can, for example, type on a virtual keyboard or pinch to zoom with your fingers simply grasping at the air.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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