THERE'S AN ELEMENT OF RISK in being an explorer, as Wikipedia grimly documents. Perhaps with hindsight, the words "Explorer Edition" that featured prominently on the first generation of Google Glass should have warned of a similarly disappointing end.
Google plans to put out one final software update and then to cut all those Explorers loose. And it's less of a last hoorah and more a last wah-wah.
The update simply lets you pair Glass with the phone, as MyGlass will stop working. Bluetooth will continue, as will the ability to creepily take photos and videos via your lenses.
People who refuse to apply the update will still be able to use it for the time being, but mirrored apps such as Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts won't work. But really, how dedicated to Google do you have to be to be using Hangouts on your Glass in 2019?
That's true for the next two months, afterwards, you really need the patch. "After February 25, 2020, this update removes the need and ability to use your Google account on Glass," Google writes.
You'll be able to apply the update at that point, but it won't be around forever. "After February 25, 2020, if you're not logged into the device, or you log out, you will need to install the final update in order to continue using the device," Google says, noting that it only promises to keep the update available until 25 February 2022.
It's all a bit of a sad end for early adopters - who eventually became plain old "adopters" as Glass never got a commercial release. Let's not forget that they paid $1,500 for the privilege back in 2014.
Still, if you're a Glass owner that's mourning the demise of the tech, rather than burning $1,500 for no clear reason, the future remains bright-ish for AR glasses. Not only is the Enterprise Edition of Google Glass still alive, but both Qualcomm and Apple seem to have learned nothing from this cautionary tale.
Look forward to us lamenting their failures at some point in 2028. µ
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