Google Glass Phase 1 is over as of this week . The Google Glass team posted a statement announcing the end of new sales to Google + on January 15th. The announcement stated that Glass is not dead, it’s just going through a “transition,” and that the Google Glass team is “continuing to build for the future.” The first, “Explorer,” version of Glass was, according to the team, an “open beta” version, or basically a big, public test of the new product. The team did not give a timeline for future versions.
Google Glass was one of the first big innovations in the growing wearable technology. It’s a headset and screen, worn like glasses, and allows the user to check things like emails and calls, and even record video, by moving the head or using voice commands.
The Wall Street Journal reports that this announcement marks a strategic shift for Google.
“The changes usher in a new strategy for Glass that will shun large, public tests of prototypes in favor of the approach used by Apple and Nest, which develop consumer gadgets in secret and release them as fully finished products … “The more secretive approach differs from Google’s usual pattern. As a mainly software company, Google likes to release early versions of its products to a test group, collect their feedback and then quickly update to fix problems. That is how it rolled out Gmail in 2004. “But that launch-and-iterate approach backfired with Glass, one of the few consumer-hardware devices the company designed and built in-house. The gadget proved more difficult to update than software code running a service like Gmail.”
Google also stated that Glass is not dead, and that for all the problems with its public rollout, its enterprise arm with private companies and developers, seems to be going much better. Google will ultimately have to find a way to deal all the privacy concerns facing Glass. A recent survey from Forrester research found that 50 percent of online U.S. adults say Google Glass gives them privacy concerns, even though most Americans haven’t yet seen the product.