When everybody was off making smartwatches and activity trackers Google’s wearable device was something different. The Google Glass initially captured the imaginations of a lot of people but soon after the Explorer program was started did people start finding out about how other people might react when they come across someone wearing Google Glass. Privacy issues came under debate many times but the Explorer program soldiered on. The future of Glass hasn’t really been clear for the past few months, and today Google has announced that the Google Glass Explorer program is being shut down.
Google never really released Glass for the public. Under the Explorer program it sold units for $1,500 to select users initially, they had to be U.S. residents, before the program was expanded to cover the UK as well. The cost remained the same.
You don’t need to take a second look at the price point to agree that $1,500 wouldn’t have got Glass anywhere in the consumer market. Even when the invite prerequisite was removed from the Explorer program only a handful of people dropped this much money on the wearable device.
There’s no word as yet on when a public release is going to take place. Google isn’t revealing any details on what future Glass products may look like. It is however making some changes at the top level.
Google has confirmed that Glass is “graduating” from its Google X experimental lab into a division of its own which will be run by Tony Fadell, the man in charge of Nest, which happens to be a Google-owned company. Fadell’s role at Nest will remain unchanged. Ivy Ross, who currently runs Glass, will retain authority but she will now be reporting to Tony Fadell.