One of the first high-profile wearables is finally about to kick the bucket, several years after a short rollercoaster ride atop the tech news cycle.
Google recently updated the support page for Google Glass Explorer Edition with information about the product’s final update. The patch will essentially divorce Google Glass from any of Google’s backend services after Feb. 25. Once it’s installed and that date rolls by, Glass users won’t be able to log in at all with their Google accounts on the device.
After that, the old version of Glass will still work as a sort of husk of its former self. It’ll still connect to phones via Bluetooth, support sideloaded apps, and allow photos and videos to be taken with the camera. But mirror apps such as Hangouts, YouTube, and Gmail won’t work anymore, per Google’s support page.
The MyGlass mobile app that allows users to manage device settings won’t work after the update, either.
It should be noted that this only applies to Google Glass Explorer Edition, the consumer-grade version of Glass that Google launched in 2013. The business-grade Enterprise Edition will still work normally for the foreseeable future. This is basically Google cutting bait on a device it wasn’t marketed or sold to the public for years.
Google made the (questionable, in hindsight) decision to launch Glass as a consumer product for $1,500 in 2013. The world wasn’t quite ready to see early adopters walking around with cameras on their faces, prompting widespread privacy concerns regarding the device. Some restaurants and bars banned them entirely, and their wearers were not-entirely-affectionately dubbed “glassholes.”
Eventually, Google scaled back the public-facing version of Glass and focused on enterprise solutions instead. Google Glass Enterprise Edition launched in 2017 and got a sleek new edition earlier in 2019. What is dead may never die.