Some non-believers might be writing Google Glass off at this point, but Google thinks it’s far from dead. In fact, the company today announced that it was “graduated” from Google X’s experimental labs and is getting the spotlight in its own little division.
That not enough to convince you they’re going full steam ahead with Glass? The person they put in charge of the project is none other than Tony Fadell. You may remember his name as the founder and creator of the Nest Learning Thermostat, made by the company Nest which Google acquired in 2014.
More than just Nest — which is an awesome product itself — Fadell is also widely recognized as the man responsible for the birth of the Apple iPod, the most iconic portable music player in the history of electronics. His resume is legit, folks, and Google’s asking him to work his Midas touch on a product that could definitely use a lot of tender love and care.
While he will be the overseer of the team, he will still work in an independent capacity at Nest. Ivy Ross, the Google Glass team’s long-time head, will continue in her role, but she will report directly to Tony Fadell.
With this news also comes word that Google is looking to wind the Glass Explorers program down. The program was never meant to be taken as a product launch, but more of a product test to help nurture and grow the platform for an eventual consumer release (hence why they slapped a ridiculous price tag on it to attract only the most enthusiastic users and developers).
Google says the last day to get your hands on Google Glass Explorer Edition will be January 19th, 2015, so you’ll want to go scrape up $1,500 and order one ahead of that date if you don’t already have one.
Unfortunately we’re not yet sure what that will mean in terms of being able to get a transparent look at how Google moves the platform forward. If they’re doing away with the Explorers’ program then it could dash the hopes of seeing it evolve in the public eye like we’re used to (sort of the way Google’s being open-ended about Project Ara and its growth cycle). Google says they’ll definitely be giving us a peek when they’re ready, but we imagine it won’t happen with the same frequency that it did with the advent of the Explorers’ program.
But if this is what has to happen for the project to finally see its first consumer launch and make strides to becoming a mainstream viable platform for smart computing, then we couldn’t be happier to hear it. Google says they have plans to release a “new” version of Glass in 2015, but we’re not exactly sure what that new version could be.
We speculated they could be looking to revamp the wearable after a patent for an alternate Google Glass design surfaced last week, though there’s still no telling if that patent has anything to do with Google’s future plans.
Suppose there’s only one thing we can do: patiently wait for Google to reintroduce Glass in a way that can get everyone excited again. In the meantime, feel free to take a look back at our Google Glass review to see how the platform held up in its early days as we look forward to a brighter future.