Google Packs Up Glass Explorer Program, Vows to Try Again

Illustration for article titled Google Packs Up Glass Explorer Program, Vows to Try Again

So long, Google Glass. Or at least as we know it.

Google will be winding down the Explorers program, booting the ostracized wearable from the Google X program, and handing the reins to Nest CEO Tony Fadell. Google will stop selling Glass on January 19 (except to companies and developers) after just opening up general sales of last April. So if you were ever planning to buy a quirky and ultimately fruitless piece of computing history, you have your deadline.

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This isn't a death knell for Glass but rather dramatic restructuring of the program. Google will pivot away from wide-spread public testing of the device, as it has done for the past two years, and instead develop in secret à la Apple and Nest.

Other than that, what this means for the Glass program is uncertain, whether the move to put under Fadell's direction hints toward the building process, design focus, or even the smart home ambitions of Glass. Also, Google is a primary investor in the notoriously secretive AR company Magic Leap and so maybe the company's revising its idea of what augmented reality should be.

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Either way, the Glass program needed to do something to stop hemorrhaging developers interested in the weird AR device. It also didn't help that the gadget engendered its own negative nickname, "Glasshole."

Whatever the case, Glass is getting a much needed shakeup for fear of dying off completely. [The Wall Street Journal/Google Glass]

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DISCUSSION

sketcher0204
Sketcher0204

I've said this before, but the reason Glass failed is because Google marketed it as a consumer product rather than a specialized, professional product. They chose to put Facebook and Twitter on your face rather than practical applications for real professions that could benefit from something like this. Police, firefighters, surgeons, pilots, soldiers, etc can all benefit from a device like this. But instead, Google decided to target 20 year old hipsters who only care about taking photos of their food to post on Instagram. And even that person won't pay $1,500 for a half-assed device with no guarantee of future support.