Come 19 January and Google will stop selling its Google Glass eyewear.
Why? The company wants to work on “future versions of Glass”. It’s not really clear what went wrong with Google’s ambitious project but the company said “we still have some work to do, but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run”.
The Google Explorer programme launched in the US in 2013 and in the UK in June 2014. The device costs $1,500 in the US and £1,000 in the UK.
Google Glass caused safety and privacy concerns with experts calling it a the “perfect stalker’s tool”. It was banned in bars and restaurants. Department for Transport also took issue with it for the glass posing security hazards. (Read: Google Glass: 10 reasons Brits won’t buy it)
In a blog post, Google said: “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. (For now, no peeking.)”
Under the new plans, Google’s Glass team will now no longer be a part of Google X division. It will now be an independent undertaking managed by its current boss Ivy Ross. Ross and her team will report to Tony Fadell, the CEO of home automation business Nest, that Google acquired last year.
Google’s full blog post
We’re graduating from Google[x] labs
“It’s hard to believe that Glass started as little more than a scuba mask attached to a laptop. We kept on it, and when it started to come together, we began the Glass Explorer Program as a kind of “open beta” to hear what people had to say.
“Explorers, we asked you to be pioneers, and you took what we started and went further than we ever could have dreamed: from the large hadron collider at CERN, to the hospital operating table; the grass of your backyard to the courts of Wimbledon; in fire stations, recording studios, kitchens, mountain tops and more.
“Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk. Well, we still have some work to do, but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run.
“Since we first met, interest in wearables has exploded and today it’s one of the most exciting areas in technology. Glass at Work has been growing and we’re seeing incredible developments with Glass in the workplace. As we look to the road ahead, we realize that we’ve outgrown the lab and so we’re officially “graduating” from Google[x] to be our own team here at Google. We’re thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality.
“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. (For now, no peeking.)
“Thanks to all of you for believing in us and making all of this possible. Hang tight—it’s going to be an exciting ride.”
For those of you who don’t know, Google itself came up with the term “glassholes” last year. In fact, it launched a step-by-step guide on how to avoid being a glasshole last year.