A decade ago, Google GOOG GOOGL thrust into the world of augmented reality (AR) with the announcement of Google Glass, a technology then-poised to change how we interact with our digital environments.
Unfortunately for Google, the product was ahead of its time and failed to resonate with consumers due to significant privacy concerns.
Though, instead of talking about Google's famed "graveyard" of products, let's talk about the stock.
On April 5, 2012, Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, publicly wore a prototype of the Glass, marking its official announcement.
Shares of Google were trading at $604.85 at the time, so if you had seen the potential in Google’s AR venture and invested $1,000, you would have secured about 1.65 shares.
Later in 2012, Google announced a 2:1 stock split. Though it wasn’t a conventional split; instead, it introduced a new class of shares.
Subsequently, on March 27, 2014, Google effectively doubled its shareholders’ stakes, awarding each Class A shareholder an equal amount of Class C shares.
So our initial 1.65 shares increased to 3.3 shares.
Fast-forward to July 15, 2022, Google enacted another stock split, this time a staggering 20:1 ratio. This split turned our 3.3 shares into 66 shares.
With Google’s shares trading at $128.29 at the time of writing, those 66 shares, some of which just turned 11 years old, are now worth $8,467.14 — or a brisk 746.71% gain.
Read also: Vision Pro vs. Google Glass: Is It Time For An Augmented Reality Comeback?
Comparatively, the S&P 500 Index has gained roughly 169% in the same time frame.
Google Glass, initially conceived as a consumer product, was a significant misstep due to its perceived invasion of privacy. The ability to record and broadcast personal conversations was met with a steep backlash.
On January 15, 2015, Google halted the production of its Google Glass prototype, with plans to resume in 2017. Subsequently, the Google Glass Enterprise Editions were announced in July 2017 and May 2019. However, Google suspended sales and announced discontinuation of the Enterprise Edition 2 on March 15, 2023.
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