As of January 19, the average Joe will no longer be able to purchase Google Glass.
Google is shutting down its Glass Explorer program, which first opened up in 2013. It wasn’t until May of 2014 that Google began selling the product to anyone – as long as they had $1,500 burning a hole in their pocket. Starting then, only developers and companies will be able to purchase Glass (the Google Glass at Work program will continue).
In fact, the whole Google Glass program is being restructured. It’s moving out of the Google X “moonshot” lab and will become its own department, led by Ivy Ross. But the chain of command doesn’t end there. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ross and the whole Glass unit will report to Nest CEO Tony Fadell.
Google bought Nest Labs, whose main claim to fame is the Nest Thermostat, for $3.2 billion back in January of last year.
While this probably means Google Glass – at least in its current form – is dead, the Google Glass project is not. Fadell says that Google Glass had “broken ground and allowed us to learn what’s important to consumers and enterprises alike” and he would be working “to integrate those learnings into future products”
It’ll just be a more private testing of the technology. The public beta, if you will, is now over.
Google Glass faced its fair share of obstacles right out of the gate – privacy concerns, questions about its design and even whether or not it really had a market, and of course, the whole Glasshole thing. Google will continue to work on Glass, and likely come back with something new. Whether it resembles what we’ve all come to know as Google Glass remains to be seen.
Image via Google