US audio firm Bose has closed its entire augmented reality division and the apps released for its Frames sunglasses and AR-enabled headphones will soon stop working.
It is the latest company to find it hard to garner consumer interest in AR technology — Magic Leap is another recent casualty, alongside several smaller startups.
However, unlike those, Bose’s tech centred on audio AR rather than visual. It’s Frames glasses, for example, had AR sensors and earphones built in that could inform you of directions, etc, from a phone connected via Bluetooth.
Sadly, that functionality will be removed from devices in the coming weeks, although Bose will utilise the sensors in another way, to make them more responsive. And, it seems that owners will still be able to use them to listen to music.
AR headphones will naturally revert to being standard headphones.
«Bose AR didn’t become what we envisioned,» said a Bose spokesperson to Protocol.
«It’s not the first time our technology couldn’t be commercialised the way we planned, but components of it will be used to help Bose owners in a different way. We’re good with that. Because our research is for them, not us.»
Bose is going through a major restructure at the moment as it is. It closed all its retail stores across the UK, Europe, North America, Australia and Japan earlier this year.