Google has confirmed that the teams behind Google Glass and the company’s various augmented reality and virtual reality efforts are not working together. Google Glass is still being developed and maintained, and even still has its own team, but that team is working on their own projects whose specifics are currently unavailable. For the time being, the Glass unit is mostly focused on enterprise since the consumer edition of the device has been discontinued and the headset is now reportedly finding a second life in the enterprise segment of the market.
Road To VR spoke to Google’s VR and AR lead Clay Bavor at Google I/O 2017 and was essentially told that his people had no idea what the Glass team was up to and that they did not work together in any capacity. What this may mean is that Google Glass is currently only being maintained and is being pushed in the direction of serving as a relatively simple head-mounted display and information center. Glass has expanded on its functionality in recent years, with tons of useful software coming out to address pain points in various enterprise sectors, such as giving manufacturing employees the instructions they need in real time while they work.
Thinking about the ideas and potential behind Google Glass, it may be easy to forget the massive amount of social backlash that the initial public version of the product was met with. Critics not only called the device and ecosystem immature, but Glass was banned from a number of public spaces due to the camera mounted on its front, with people fearing that Glass users could be surreptitiously recording interactions with others, movies at the cinema, and other things going on in front of them. Between that past and this news, it’s unlikely that a consumer version of Glass is on the horizon, at least in its current form. Google already has other initiatives aimed at AR and VR, such as Tango and Daydream, so until the consumer space finds some more uses for Glass and accepts the pitfalls that come with it, it will likely continue to be mostly used in enterprise.