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Toshiba Smart Glasses Scrapped Just Before Release

February 23, 2016 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Just over sixteen months after unveiling the Toshiba Wearvue TG-01 wearable and a week prior to its commercial launch was due to take place, the Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics has completely scrapped the project which was supposed to mark its entry into the smart glasses market. The surprise announcement came from the Far East yesterday, only six weeks after Toshiba stated that shipments of Wearvue units pre-ordered online will start on February 29th.

As one of the company’s officials revealed on Tuesday, Toshiba was considering whether to pull the plug on Wearvue TG-01 “until the very last minute” because of the positive interest for smart glasses generated among the media and the general public. However, the initiative ultimately had to be stopped because of the rebuilding process within the company which started last December when Toshiba reported a $4.5 billion loss after an accounting scandal related to a declaration of false profits over the last six years, which resulted in a cutting of thousands of jobs and scrapping a lot of non-core businesses. Naturally, that’s precisely what wearables are to Toshiba, and in addition to Wearvue, the Japanese manufacturer also put a stop to the sales of its upcoming medical wristbands as it’s also restructuring its health care operations. To put it simply, the company is currently very selective regarding resource investments, and while they can be understood to be considering the situation, the way this entire thing was handled is a little strange.

It’s unclear why did it take so long for this smart glasses to be scrapped, but what remains is the hope that Wearvue will still see the light of day in some undefined future. The device itself was rather unusual as it was designed for a variety of physical workers who need both of their hands free when working in an industrial setting and is – or should we say was supposed to be – able to display various useful information such as manuals and construction plans and even without an internet connection. In other words, it would definitely make a lot of jobs easier, so it won’t be surprising if Toshiba relaunches it as a slightly upgraded version sometime in the future, once it regains some financial ground.