Google halts Glass production
Smart glass project will continue, but hardware sales to stop next week
Google has announced that it will stop selling the current version of its Glass wearable PC.
The company says that it remains committed to its smart glasses project, and that it will continue to support companies that are using glass, but it will no longer sell the current version of the hardware.
Google did not give any indicator of when a new version of Glass would be available, although it did say it still intends to launch a Glass consumer product at some point in the future.
Glass was launched in 2013, but only as part of a limited release under the ‘Explorer' programme, which was intended to help software developers to understand the potential of the smart glasses and to develop applications for it. The product was never launched to the wider public.
The smart glasses gained a great deal of interest from developers, but concerns were raised over violations of privacy because of Glass' onboard camera, and also its useability. In the UAE, Dubai Police developed a number of applications for Glass, mainly for traffic enforcement.
Google announced that Glass would be moved from its research arm Google X to its own separate division, which will be headed up by current Glass manager Ivy Ross.
In a statement on the Google Glass Google+ account, the company said: "Since we first met, interest in wearables has exploded and today it's one of the most exciting areas in technology. Glass at Work has been growing and we're seeing incredible developments with Glass in the workplace. As we look to the road ahead, we realize that we've outgrown the lab and so we're officially ‘graduating' from Google[x] to be our own team here at Google. We're thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality.
"As part of this transition, we're closing the Explorer Program so we can focus on what's coming next. January 19 will be the last day to get the Glass Explorer Edition. In the meantime, we're continuing to build for the future, and you'll start to see future versions of Glass when they're ready."