Google is finally abandoning its controversial wearable computer, but says it won't give up on the idea of the product.
On Thursday, the web search titan announced that it will discontinue the sale of Google Glass on Monday, 19 January, while it prepares for the next iteration of the eyewear. The Glass faced some challenges during its initial stages and Google tried to deal with them. But, some stains don't vanish easily and it now seems that Google is planning a fresh start so it can change people's mindset about its innovative idea of the Glass.
How It All Began
Google built an incredibly high profile for its Glass even before it launched. The web giant started selling its wearable computer to select audience for $1,500 after it was launched in 2013. The people who purchased the Glass were called Explorers, tasked to help Google make the Glass a better product. After selecting the potential buyers, Google decided to sell the Glass to a larger group in April. But, the high price tag and the criticism it had garnered left the sales to a relatively low number.
Like any other new product in the market, Google Glass also had to face a lot of criticism. In fact, the Glass was almost hated by many for its special features. In the age of snooping surveillance, people feared being recorded secretly by the Explorers. Soon, the Glass was banned from bars and restaurants.
Separately, the Glass also attracted the government's attention and was prohibited while driving. Drivers wearing the Glass were ticketed for using "hand-held devices for distractions while driving". Google Glass was also banned from movie theaters as the device's recording capabilities risked piracy.
Finally, Google responded with a lengthy post in February, last year. It asked Explorers not to be "Glassholes" and respect people's privacy. Clearly, it did not work.
"Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk. 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," Google said in its post on Thursday.
Google Glass Rests Before A Jumpstart
Google said the Explorer Program is shutting down, but only for a better start.
"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," Google explained. "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."
Google did not reveal its plans for the future, which is inclined towards Google Glass 2.0. But, the web giant wants to keep the details under the wraps until its next official announcement.