The program that allowed developers to buy Glass for $1,500 is being discontinued.
While many expected that the Google Glass Explorer program would be immediately followed by a retail release, that never came to fruition. But Google is assuring potential customers that the program is not being shut down completely and maintains that it will continue to support developers that are presently using Glass, including British retailer Tesco, which just released its app for Glass on Wednesday.
Moving away from Google X
In addition to shutting down the Explorer program, Google is moving the project out of its X division. The division develops new technologies like the self-driving car and Project Loom, which looks to give the world internet through a series of balloons. Google refers to the work done at Google X as “blue sky” research. Google Glass was managed by Ivy Ross most recently, and it’s being reported that she and her team will now report to Tony Fadell, the chief executive of Nest, which Google purchased roughly a year ago for $3.2 billion.
Fadell recently said Glass had “broken ground and allowed us to learn what’s important to consumers and enterprises alike” and he was excited to be working with the team “to integrate those learnings into future products.”
Dead or Alive?
Depending on who you believe, Google Glass is or is not dead. Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent, is calling Google Glass “dead,” while The Wall Street Journal is suggesting that a version of the product will be released in 2015 and that Google simply wishes to develop it in private before releasing it to the public.
Glass was a pet project of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who enthusiastically announced the product at a San Francisco conference. That enthusiasm seemed to wane at the same rate that privacy advocates blasted the product. Following numerous restaurant bans, his support seemed to all but evaporate.
The unveiling of Glass launched many a wearable technology blog, but Google’s unwillingness to release the product as it did to its “Explorers” seems to have dampened many of these writers’ spirits. I doubt very much that Glass is dead but would be surprised to see it resembling the device of the Explorers’ model when it is released.