Google announced it was ending its Glass Explorer Program in January, officially halting all Google Glass sales to the general public.
While Google’s message seemed positive, claiming the decision was part of a “transition” period for the product, numerous news publications concluded that Google Glass had failed. One piece in the New York Times, “Why Google Glass Broke,” chronicled the smart glasses’ missteps, going so far as to say, “Glass, as we know it, [is] going away.”
This week, Google took to the press to remind us that Glass is not going away — at all. In fact, says Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Glass’ initial run was only the beginning.
Schmidt recently told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that Google sees Glass as a long-term commitment, much like the driverless car Google is developing. “These things take time,” he stated.
“It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google,” Schmidt told the WSJ. “We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn’t true. Google is about taking risks, and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.”
Glass was first developed in a secret lab called Google X on the Google Campus in Mountain View, California. According to the NYT report, Sergey Brin became involved as a supervisor for Google Glass and was the one who pushed for a public beta-testing through the Explorer Program. During the program’s run from April 2013 to January 2015, Glass could be bought for $1500.
After much fanfare, the wearable never really took off, mostly because of how incomplete it was. “It always frustrated me that this seemed more like a marketing campaign than a product,” said CNBC anchor Jon Fortt.
According to the WSJ, all Google Glass product development will now take place in secrecy, with no details released to the public until it is ready.