Google Has Killed Its AR Glasses (Again)

Google Has Killed Its AR Glasses (Again)

Google has killed its Glass smart glasses project, after years of trying to make it work in the enterprise space.

As originally reported by Tech Crunch, Google’s page for the ‘Enterprise Edition’ of the Glass specs now reads an end-of-sale message:

Thank you for over a decade of innovation and partnership. As of March 15 2023, we will no longer sell Glass Enterprise Edition. We will continue supporting Glass Enterprise Edition until September 15 2023.

Though Google said it remains committed to developing technology in the AR space (as rumours of an upcoming AR headset would indicate), this announcement finally puts Glass in the ground, after being originally pulled from sale in 2015 and repurposed as a business product.

To me it’s sad, considering that Glass was one of the most visually exciting projects a tech company was working on when it was announced.

Back in 2012, Google released a concept video for Google Glass titled “One Day”, which sent a lot of people (my 14-year-old self included) into a frenzy, expecting augmented reality to be integrated into daily life through glasses.

The video has since been taken down from Google’s Project Glass YouTube Channel, but some YouTubers have kept it online. It spawned a wave of parody videos.

Glass is not available at a consumer level anymore, and as you read above, it’ll be unavailable to businesses come September 2023.

However, at Google’s I/O event in 2022, Google showed off a video teasing language translation support in glasses, and as we said earlier, the company is reportedly building an AR headset. The glassholes may yet return.

The Google Glass project, now that it is coming to an end for a second time, isn’t the only smart glasses tech you can find out there. Other companies, in particular Meta, TCL and Xiaomi, all have their own glasses, with some taking a different spin on the ‘smart’ concept.

Let’s roll through a few kinds of smart glasses.

The Meta/Ray-Ban Stories

While Meta’s subsidiary Oculus has been largely pioneering the virtual reality space (along with competitors HTC and Valve), Meta teamed up with Ray-Ban to produce some smart glasses: the Ray-Ban Stories.

The main feature of the Ray-Ban Stories is that they’re cameras for your face. The idea is that you can take photos and videos on-the-fly without having to whip out your phone. With your eyes already pointed towards the subject, you can snap away without issue (and if you’re recording, a small white light will turn on, so that people know you’re making a video). This feature led to a privacy investigation, for obvious reasons.

They also have inbuilt speakers and microphones for music and phone calls.

These glasses start at $533 on the Ray-Ban website. Additionally, Snapchat produced a similar pair of glasses.


Moving on, TCL has taken a slightly different approach to smart glasses. Instead of integrating a camera, TCL’s smart glasses keep your vision in a contained environment, where you can watch content on a virtually projected 140-inch screen. This is with the TCL NXTWEAR G glasses.

They include speakers and a 1080p resolution on OLED panels. Unlike the other glasses on this list, they’re more about providing an immersive, cinematic experience instead of enhancing your day-to-day life with a camera or heads-up display.

The TCL NXTWEAR G smart glasses are available for $899.

TCL’s actually been doing a few exciting things in the smart glasses space, with the NXTWEAR G being the only consumer-ready product at the moment.

At CES, TCL showed off a pair of glasses (The RayNeo XR2) that could translate words before your very eyes, take photos, receive turn-by-turn directions and more, although Australian availability is yet to be announced. The company also ran a Kickstarter program for the next generation of NXTWEAR specs.


Though Xiaomi first announced the glasses in 2021, the company would later unveil a prototype at Mobile World Congress 2023, dubbed the Xiaomi Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition smart glasses.

Functionally the glasses look and act a bit like the Google Glass, with a HUD-based approach to the tech (so you can view videos through the lenses as you go about your day-to-day life). The headset features two cameras in the sides and a sensor on the front that maps out the space of the user, as explained by Forbes. It can be interacted with using hand gestures or button presses on the sides of the frame.

A release date hasn’t been announced, however.

Vuzix Blade

Last on our list is the Vuzix Blade, which offers an augmented reality experience on the lens, much like Google Glass does, except actually available to the public.

Not only is there a camera on the front of these glasses, but information from your smartphone is projected onto the right lens, with swiping and tapping controls on the sides of the frame. There are also built-in microphones and speakers for calls, along with notifications from your phone that pop up on the lens. All of this said, they’re definitely not the most attractive glasses in the world.

You can order the Vuzix Blade smart glasses in Australia, but you’ll need to pay $1,545.

That can’t be everything, right?

It’s not. These are just the highlights of the ‘smart glasses’ world, with some products trying to achieve different things to others.

There are also smart glasses for listening to music (like the Bose Frames and the Huawei X GENTLE MONSTER Eyewear II glasses), lots of other AR glasses (like the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses and Microsoft Hololens) and, of course, virtual reality headsets (like the Meta Quest 2), if you count those.

For the moment though, all types of smart glasses tend to have two things in common; they’re all expensive and they’re not super popular.

Maybe we’ll see them take off at some point. Heck, maybe whatever Apple’s working on will be what does it.

This article has been updated since it was originally published.

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