Bose is giv­ing up on its aug­ment­ed real­i­ty project, two years after debut­ing the idea at SXSW. As first report­ed by Pro­to­col, employ­ees work­ing on AR at the com­pa­ny have left or were laid off; Bose’s part­ners were told their apps would stop work­ing in the com­ing weeks; and the com­pa­ny scrubbed men­tions of AR from its web­site in addi­tion to clos­ing its pub­lic AR SDK in April. The main pro­po­nent of AR at the com­pa­ny, SVP John Gor­don, also left last sum­mer.

“Bose AR didn’t become what we envi­sioned,” a Bose spokesper­son told Pro­to­col. “It’s not the first time our tech­nol­o­gy couldn’t be com­mer­cial­ized 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’s AR focused on sound rather than visu­als. It estab­lished a $50 mil­lion fund for Bose AR devel­op­ers, and ini­tial­ly worked with 11 soft­ware part­ners includ­ing Yelp and Tri­pAd­vi­sor. The com­pa­ny launched its Frames sun­glass­es in Jan­u­ary 2019 for $199, which played audio from the arms. It also fea­tured a micro­phone and embed­ded but­ton, as well as app func­tion­al­i­ty. The AR fea­ture relied on a smartphone’s GPS and a motion sen­sor to deter­mine where a per­son was look­ing and stand­ing. The idea was that the glass­es could pro­vide infor­ma­tion on what­ev­er some­one was see­ing. It’s unclear how the company’s AR work might be used in future prod­ucts or how the Frames will hold up, but The Verge has reached out for clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

This news comes after a tough year for Bose: it announced that it’d close all its 119 phys­i­cal retail stores in North Amer­i­ca, Europe, Aus­tralia, and Japan, which led to hun­dreds of peo­ple being laid off. At the same time, the broad­er AR indus­try has failed recent­ly, too. Mag­ic Leap, a hyped start­up, laid off around 1,000 employ­ees; its CEO stepped down; and the com­pa­ny left the con­sumer hard­ware space ear­li­er this year. Two oth­er com­pa­nies, ODG and Daqri, also shut down over the past year and a half. Bose clear­ly couldn’t make AR work for its prod­ucts, either, which doesn’t bode well for the broad­er AR indus­try.

Image: Bose

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