Two years after launching prototype augmented reality glasses, Bose gave up the effort to bring augmented reality to your ears. According to a report in the agreement, important Bose AR employees have left the company, and Bose’s AR partners have been informed that their applications will stop working in the next few weeks.
The decision comes six months after the company announced that it will close all of its U.S. retail store locations and transfer its entire sales business online.
This is disappointing news, but not entirely surprising. As a technology category, AR faces many challenges, especially in the non-enterprise field, to find a firm foothold. Bose promoted the concept of audio-based AR through audio-based AR glasses.
The glasses were finally listed as Bose Frames Alto in 2019. It also entered the company’s popular noise-canceling headset product line, such as Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.
Bose’s failure to stimulate people’s imagination through audio AR is not a lack of experimentation. When we reviewed the Bose Frames Alto, we were impressed by Bose’s success in fitting high-quality speakers for fashionable Wayfarer-style sunglasses.
Frames Alto, which costs $200, is not cheap, but when you consider that Snap’s third-generation Snapchat Spectacles cost $380, and may not be as practical in daily use, Frames Alto seems to be worth the money.
Unfortunately, although AR glasses have surprisingly good audio quality and good call quality, they have not impressed them in one area where they need maximum performance: augmented reality.
The AR function is only compatible with Apple’s iOS software, and finding useful AR applications for testing proved to be a real challenge. So much so that AR has become a footnote in our review, which is almost entirely focused on the experience of embedding the speaker in the limbs of a pair of sunglasses.
Bose said the time and effort to develop an audio augmented reality platform has not been completely in vain. “Bose AR has not become our vision,” a Bose spokesperson told the agreement. “This is not the first time that our technology cannot be commercialized as planned, but it will be used in different ways to help Bose owners. We are very satisfied with this. Because our research is for them, not ours.”