Google is ending the Glass Explorer program and will stop selling Google Glass kits for $1500. But this might be good news for enthusiasts of Google’s wearable computing device that puts a screen just above your eye.

That’s because Google Glass is moving out of the research division at Google X and the team working on the product will now report to Tony Fadell, the guy behind the Nest learning thermostat.

In other words, Google is no longer treating Glass as an experimental product for developers and early adopters. The goal is to make it a product you’ll actually be able to buy for a reasonable price… eventually.

google glass

Worried that you’ve missed your chance to pay $1500 for an Explorer Edition version of Google Glass? Don’t worry — Google will keep selling them until January 19th, and the company will continue to run its Glass at Work program which lets companies and developers purchase the devices.

Fadell will continue to oversee Nest as well as Google Glass, while the Glass team will continue to be headed by Ivy Ross. She’ll just report to a different boss and presumably have a more consumer-oriented focus for future versions of Glass.

Later this year Google plans to launch a new version of Glass. But there’s no word on exactly when that’ll happen, how the new hardware will be different, or how much Glass will cost.

via WSJ, BBC, and Fortune

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21 replies on “Glass Explorer program ends, Google Glass to become a consumer product”

  1. Okay, I’ll concede that the latest developments with Google Translate make this a sure-fire winner for international travelers, but I’m STILL waiting for word of that breakthrough app that makes buying these things attractive!
    They don’t look good and they creep people and theater owners out.

    1. Well hang on, would you really want to have something hanging on the side of your head when you’re watching a movie? Also, I think this looks pretty sleek, Im not sure what kind of fashion. Standard you’re looking for but ski goggle type is butt ugly

      1. I was referring to an article where some dude thought he could wear an open camera into a theater (google glass) and was heavily hassled for it.

    2. If you look at it from a business perspective, it’s got some great potential applications – useful stuff like hands-free navigation or browsing workshop manuals.

  2. Aw, gonna miss my chance to buy one until they become consumer devices at some unknown point in the future… that sucks.

  3. Call me crazy, but the retail price had better be around $200. I don’t see them selling many of these above $500.

    Ever since they launched the Explorer model, I’ve been hoping the astronomical price reflected the high cost of a low-volume production run, or perhaps a disincentive for people who’s opinion would reflect badly on the beta nature of the project.

    1. No way it would be that cheap. Just look at all Google Wear watch prices. They are planning to charge a premium for these.

      1. Wait, so the guys says $200 is an ideal price, and you say google wear is a premium device? I’ll agree it’s no $5 casio, but a moto 360 is $250, a samsung… whatever they called it is $200, and there are a few models cheaper than that.

      2. The Bill of Materials on a Glass is $132.

        Even if they charge $500, i see the value in the product. My concern is that I’m not going to wear a $500 piece of electronics.

        It’s going to be prone to wear and tear. I go through smartphones yearly, i can’t imagine how long a Glass would last me.

    2. I doubt it, this is much more useful and practical than android wear devices yet those cost $200+. Any piece of optical equipment will raise the price. $500 is indeed too much but $350 – $400 might still work. The only problem is all the banning and all the people crying privacy issues.

    3. As a motorbike rider, I’d love to have one of these just for heads-up navigation. I’d never pay $500 for one just for that, but $200 would make me think about it. There is a new helmet with navigation built in but it’s $1500.

      1. Lol bad idea. You sight can only focus on either the screen or the road.

        1. Doesn’t it virtually project the image out a ways into your field of view? It’s not like you’d have to take your eyes off of the road to glance at the map. Like I said, there’s at least one helmet with a heads-up display built in, and people seem fine with that. This would functionally be pretty much the same. Also, people in cars seem to be able to use navigation without crashing every few feet.

          1. Not even close. You are suppose to listen for direction and not look at it while u drive.

          2. Same with the Glass. Look at it if you need to, otherwise ignore the image. What’s the problem? Have you ever even ridden a motorbike? It’s normal to frequently glance away from the road ahead for fractions of a second to check blind spots, mirrors, gauges. Same with the glass, it’s just like another piece of visual data off to the side. If someone riding a motorbike only ever kept their eyes straight ahead and never looked anywhere else, I’d say they’re a pretty poor rider.

    4. Even if it’s $500, prices will fall in later years. It’s like any other tech, prices start high, early adopters but, prices fall, sales grow. I don’t think it matters if prices start high, rather that’s often good business sense, to make more money off the early adopters, before dropping prices.

Comments are closed.