tech2 News StaffJan 20, 2015 11:52:43 IST
Google has officially closed taking orders from its US Play Store for the Google Glass Explorer Edition. The explorer edition of the device cost $1500 and according to The Verge post midnight on 19 January, sales of the device will stop. The report notes that "The Glass at Work" program will continue for now.
Last week, Google had announced that it would stop selling its Internet-connected eyewear to consumers until the company came up with more polished and affordable version that’s less likely to be viewed as a freakish device. One Google spokesperson told TechCrunch that "the idea behind the Explorer program was always to see how people would use the technology."
Interestingly this closure of the Explorer edition should not seen as an end of the line for the product. The decision to end sales also coincided with the fact that Glass will now operate outside of Google X, the company's secret lab division. This indicates that the Glass will probably get a more dedicated team and strategy from now on.
Glass will be headed by veteran marketing executive Ivy Ross, whose past experience includes stints at fashion-conscious companies such as Gap Inc. and Calvin Klein. Ross will report to Tony Fadell, who played an instrumental role in the design of Apple’s iPod and now runs the smart-appliance maker Nest Labs that Google Inc bought for $3.2 billion last year.
In blog post announcing the end of sales, Google wrote, "Well, we still have some work to do, but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run."
Glass looks like a pair of spectacles except the Explorer edition didn’t contain any actual glass in the frame. Instead, the device has a thumbnail-sized screen attached above the right eye so a user can check email, see Twitter posts or get directions or even open Facebook.
Google began distributing the $1,500 device to computer programmers and about 10,000 randomly selected people in 2013 with the hope that the test group would come up with new ideas for using Glass and drum up enthusiasm for a hands-free way to remain connected to the Internet. It's not clear when the consumer version of Glass will go for sale.
Google still has many issues to solve with Glass, which include design, price and of course the most important concern 'privacy.' As this Mashable post pointed out a recent survey showed that 72 percent of Americans had refused Google Glass over privacy concerns and that's a fairly high percentage. Google Glass comes with a camera and there were worries that it would be used to secretly record people's actions, etc.
Then, of course the $1500 price meant that Glass catered to those who were interested in the tech and could actually spend the money. Also the lack of glasses (correctional lenses) meant that a lot of people wouldn't be able to use the device (Google did say it was working on a version with correctional lenses).
Hopefully by end of 2015, Google will sort out most of these issues given that the smart wearable market is bound to get bigger, especially in the United States.
With inputs from Reuters
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