Bose scraps its AR program, report says

bose-ar glasses

Bose is said to have closed its AR operations. The company has created devices such as glasses with built-in speakers to give verbal information.

Shara Tibken / CNET

Bose closes his augmented reality program, according to a report released Monday by Protocol. Key AR employees are reported to have left the company and Bose has informed partners that their applications will no longer work in the coming weeks.

“Bose AR has not become what we envision,” a company representative told Protocol. “It is not the first time that our technology has not been released to market as intended, but its components will be used to help Bose owners in a different way.”

Bose stands out in the AR industry by being audio-based, as opposed to layering images on the real world. The company provided audio information such as instructions and formatting instructions with compatible headphones, and also created glasses with speakers and microphones that could describe landmarks or help wearers learn a new language.

A Bose representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bose senior vice president John Gordon, who had strongly supported the company’s AR initiative, left last year, and most of the employees working on AR left or were laid off in the spring, someone close to the case told Protocol. The company has reportedly told developers in recent days that Bose AR-based apps will stop working.

The Bose representative told Protocol that the company found their work in AR “to deliver compelling customer experiences based on specific interests and specific use cases, not for broad everyday use.” Bose will stop supporting third-party developer apps in mid-July, the representative added.

In January, Bose said he was all stores closed in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan due to “the dramatic transition to online shopping”. The company also quietly replaced CEO Phil Hess earlier this year.

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