google-glass-development-kit-gdk-strava-app-glasswareGoogle has recently announced the discontinuation (or as they put it, “graduation”) of its beta phase wearable, Google Glass. As Glass 2 is teased by its (now dedicated) team, Google’s investment in secretive ‘cinematic reality’ company, Magic Leap, has us scratching our heads at what may come next.

The news came on Thursday in a heartfelt letter written to its ‘Explorers’, what Google calls the beta testers of the ground breaking head-mounted display.

Executive Editor Ben Lang computing with Google Glass

The device was originally developed by Google[x], the company’s madcap skunk works lab which is best known for their self-driving car and other pieces of forward-thinking tech like contact lenses that monitor blood sugar levels. But with the idea of wearable displays becoming more common place, and more companies joining in the race to deliver approachable augmented reality devices—the type that won’t get you unceremoniously tossed out of a McDonald’s—Google has decided to normalize its relationship with the burgeoning technology and dedicate its own team to the development and production of future wearable displays.

A recent update to Glass’ Google+ page reads: “As we look to the road ahead, we realize that we’ve outgrown the lab and so we’re officially “graduating” from Google[x] to be our own team here at Google. We’re thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality.”

Magic Leap's promotion pics are enticing if mysterious.
Magic Leap’s promotion pics are enticing if mysterious.

Google will stop taking orders for their Glass ‘Explorer Edition’ on January 19th—only 4 days after the initial announcement of its discontinuation—and we can bet they’ll also be pulling support for the device soon afterwards.

However Google’s recent investment in Magic Leap, a self-described ‘cinematic reality’ company, has us speculating on the possibilities for future versions of Glass, which due to the move from Google[x] will most certainly see larger funding and a closer focus on getting any future devices out to mainstream consumers.

Magic Leap Gets Half-billion Dollar Boost Ahead of Vision Pro Launch

See Also: Magic Leap Closes $542m Series B Investment, Now Soliciting Developers for Its “Digital Lightfield” Wearable

If any of the fantastical images on Magic Leap’s website have any basis in reality, or in their recently uncovered patents, we’re hoping Google can ‘borrow’ whatever it is they’re cooking up and integrate it into new versions of Glass—expanding on Glass’ promising, if limited, functionality. Perhaps then Glass can itself graduate from niche, geeky status symbol to a compelling product people want to buy.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Hopsonator

    Oooh thats gonna suck for the people who dropped $1500 on the Explorer Glass. But you have to expect that with early adoption…Not being a developer and buying the dk2 I knew I only had about a year or so before cv1 would be out but being so hyped about vr I couldn’t resist! But $350 is a little easier to swallow. Here’s hoping Google can bring that price point down. I’m excited to see what’s next.