Google is stopping sales of the Explorer Edition of it’s head-mounted wearable next week and transferring the entire project, including all of the staff, over to a new division under the management of former Nest CEO Tony Fadell – the guy who was responsible for designing the original iPod.
Google’s Explorer program for Glass allowed people to buy what was beta hardware and software, for $1 500 (R17 000) under the premise that they would be part of the evolution of the platform until it reached the full consumer market stage. You could even, for a time, buy Google Glass from South African online retailer Takealot, although the product listing has since been taken down.
The consumer version of Glass was expected to go on sale before the end of 2014 but there has been no update from Google as to when the potential launch might happen.
In a post on their Google+ page, the Glass team made a point of saying that the concept of Google Glass is not dead but rather that they would be focusing on building the future of Glass in secret citing the massive increase in interest around wearables.
The team will continue to be run by the current head of the project Ivy Ross, who comes from a background in the retail industry, and with her and Fadell running the show Google seems to be pushing for a version of Glass that will be seen as fashionable to wear as opposed to the current view of being a Glasshole.
“Early Glass efforts have broken ground and allowed us to learn what’s important to consumers and enterprises alike,” Fadell says. “I’m excited to be working with Ivy to provide direction and support as she leads the team and we work together to integrate those learnings into future products.”