January 19, 2015
Today marks the last day that Google Glass in its current form will officially be available for $1,500 as part of the Explorer Program. Late last week, the company announced that it would stop selling the smart glasses and the device would no longer be developed by the Google X research division. However, Google Glass is expected to continue as a standalone project with former Apple exec Tony Fadell in charge. Fadell is known for helping to design the iPod and inventing the Nest thermostat. Google purchased Nest last year.
According to a Google blog post: “As part of this transition, we’re closing the Explorer Program so we can focus on what’s coming next. January 19 will be the last day to get the Glass Explorer Edition. In the meantime, we’re continuing to build for the future, and you’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready.”
“The move signals a humbling retreat for Glass, the Internet-connected glasses that allow users to do things like snap pictures with a blink of an eye or send emails with their voice,” reports The New York Times. “A little more than two years ago, Glass was the star of Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, and a central piece of the company’s efforts to move deeper into selling hardware.”
However, the device seemed to suffer from a clear purpose — and over time many people expressed concerns regarding privacy, while others simply found it somewhat creepy.
Google told TechCrunch that the Explorer Program intended to learn how people might eventually use such a product: “Now that Google has received quite a bit of feedback — both good and bad — it decided to close the program in order to focus on future versions of Glass.”
Google is expected to shift its focus for Glass (or whatever the product becomes in the future) from a consumer vision to business applications. Some reports indicate we can expect to see an updated version later this year.