Itâ€™s 2014 all over again â€“ the latest version of theÂ Google GlassÂ AR headset isÂ now available for direct purchase. It will still cost you $999, and itâ€™s very much aimed at an enterprise/B2B audience, not the consumer market.
Just this month, Iâ€™ve seen the original Google Glass described as one of the biggest tech failures ever. Is that fair? Will this new version start to have the impact that Google initially expected?
For consumers, I think privacy has became a far more important issue over the last few years, so I canâ€™t see how any vendor can overcome the always-on, might-be-always-recording creepiness of AR glasses. But maybe thatâ€™s just because the benefits arenâ€™t strong enough â€“ recent history shows that the public are mostly happy to give up their privacy if theyâ€™re offered something they really, really want. There are also new competitors for Google this time round, with different display technologies for the glasses themselves.
Google Glass may well go down as a shambles of a product launch, but thatâ€™s down to misguided marketing, and perhaps over-ambitious goals. In the long term, the technology is going to find its own niche â€“ and if anyone can afford to wait for demand to pick up, itâ€™s Google.