Google announced that the company would be ceasing production in the coming days of the original Google Glass. The original Google Glass, which went on sale originally in 2012 – and was generally underwhelming, thanks to poor sales numbers and incredibly high cost – will stop being produced on January 19th the company said in a Google+ post. The post said that the company would be shutting down the explorer program, but that a new version was still under development. While it was not clear how soon that new version would be released, it appeared as though users would be getting an updated version of Google Glass sometime in the 2015 year.
Google pointed out in their post, with regards to interest, that “since we first met, interest in wearable 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.” The overall tone of the message, as well as the tone of the industry, is that Google is being forced to go back to the drawing boards on its Glass product.
It’s something that does have intense interest around the world, especially in work environments, where even the company noted in their post that it could really change the way hospitals and construction function and get work done. That being said though there are shortcomings of the original Glass concept that Google has to address. The biggest struggle that Google Glass had as a whole, was that they lacked a real mission within the market. They did not appear to have a driving force behind them, or really know what the goal of Google Glass was. In addition, it was not really clear that the leadership of Google Glass – as an operation – was that great.
However, Google has reorganized their operation in addition to just axing the original Google Glass. Tony Fadell, the CEO of recently acquired Nest, will be heading the project up, and ensuring that the product is delivered in a way that will actually benefit customers. It was reported that Ivy Ross, the individual who is currently the head of Glass, will be reporting to Fadell moving forward, but maintaining most of his role within the Glass operation. Perhaps with a new focus, and an increased market for wearables, this will begin to take off fully.