All within the span of 24 hours we have learned that Google is handing over the leadership of Google Glass to Tony Fadell, the CEO and leader of Nest who was purchased by Google, and that as part of the change over Google would be ending the Google Glass Explorer program. The end of the Explorer program is due to happen on January 19th which is just four days away, or rather more close to three now that we’re nearing the end of the day here on the west coast, and bringing the Explorer program to a close seems to signify at least one thing. That Google is ready to take Glass in a new direction.
That statement is pretty broad I know, but that’s more so because we have no idea what direction Google wants to take Glass in the first place. Google Glass isn’t going anywhere, that much we’re confident on. The development process for the head worn wearables has been a bit slower than some might have expected when it comes to available glassware(apps for glass)but it was strong nonetheless and it seemed to give off a promising future. In light of(and perhaps because of)stopping the Explorer program which includes the new feature development of the Explorer model edition Glasses, Google is also drawing a close on the sales of the Explorer edition specs. This means you will no longer be able to purchase a pair of the $1,500 beta program wearable glasses.
As it stands you can currently still purchase the Explorer edition of Google Glass from the devices section on Google Play’s desktop interface, but in four days when the Explorer program ends is when they will also stop accepting sales. Unless you’re apparently a business or enterprise customer where Google is slated to continue development and sales of Google Glass. The wearables have seen their fair share of hurdles, from waning developer interest to the more common negative media attention over people having privacy concerns due to the camera and video recording capabilities, but Glass Explorers and enthusiasts, as well as Google had remained positive that this new technology could bring exciting things to the world of wearables.
Google is calling this shift in the adventure of Glass a “graduation” as they are no longer going to be part of the Google X labs, which could be suggesting that they will finally have their own fully fledged division and even perhaps their own building dedicated to future development of the next stage of Google’s first wearable. Many people were speculating that we might end up seeing a consumer version of Google Glass by sometime in 2015, and that is still a possibility as we have just entered into the new year. Google hasn’t given any sort of a timeframe for when the next version of Glass might be available for purchase though, as they only stated in the email announcements about the Explorer program ending that we’ll “see new versions when they’re ready.” How long that might be could be most of this year or halfway into 2016, but whenever Glass decides to show back up in a finished state ready for the public consumption, we’ve heard statements from Google in the past that it would be at a considerably lower price point, and that the design could very well change. It is true that there is tons of shifting around within the Google Glass camp, but it isn’t anything to be worried about as Google still has plenty of excitement over the technology and likely many new ideas. Also, with Fadell now at the helm, we could see some Glass take on a whole new light. Who knows what it might look like, but how cool would it be if the next version of Glass could interact with all your Nest products in the home?