Updated: Google [X]'s Glass Explorer program has come to a screeching halt. That's probably because nobody wants a glasshole pointing a pervy camera in their face. Who saw that coming? Well, aside from everyone.
Google insists the wearable project isn't dead, shoving it in Tony Fadell's Nest org. But nobody from the team will actually say what their plans are.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wink at you. OK, Glass?
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Zach Miners stocks up while stocks last:
Google will stop selling its Glass head-mounted computer to the public on Jan. 19 [when] Google will close its Explorer program for Glass, the company said.
Glass will also be moved out of Google's X research lab into a stand-alone unit. The unit will be led by Ivy Ross. [She] and her team will report to Tony Fadell, who heads Nest Labs, which was acquired by Google last year. ... Glass will stay within Google and won't become part of Nest, Google said.
Google first made Glass available to applicants through its Explorer program in 2013. ... But in growing the program, Google has faced questions about privacy. MORE
Here's Rory Cellan-Jones and an anonymous Aunty-newsdroid, tag-teaming to bring us this eulogy:
The company insists it is still committed to launching the smart glasses as a consumer product. ... It says it will continue to support companies that are using Glass.
The Glass project received the enthusiastic backing of Google's co-founder Sergey Brin. ... Early users of Glass were very excited. ... Robert Scoble said he could not now imagine living a day without the product, and was even photographed wearing it in the shower. But he and others soon tired of Glass. ... There were also concerns about privacy and safety.
Google has tried to present this announcement as just another step in the evolution of an amazing innovation. But make no mistake - Google Glass is dead. ... It makes its users look daft [so] it was never going to appeal to a wide audience. ... Form as well as function [must] be at the centre of any successful piece of wearable technology. MORE
And Neil "before Zod" McAllister flies in, snarking all over the story:
The web goliath insists this isn't the end for cofounder Sergey Brin's controversial sci-fi specs [saying] it will quit selling the current version of its spy-goggles.
The move comes following months of rumors that Google was close to mothballing its Glass efforts, after the tech failed to inspire a thriving developer ecosystem [and] public perception of the gadgets has seldom wavered far from a mix of ridicule and revulsion...which surely must have left them pondering the wisdom of the $1,500 they spent to become Glass Explorers.
It's...not clear whether future versions of Glass will be marketed as consumer products, or if Google plans to steer them toward business applications. While the specs aren't well-received at parties, they have won some converts in certain industries, such as healthcare. MORE
So the anonymous 20-percenters put a brave, 'droid-adorned face on the news:
It’s hard to believe that Glass started as little more than a scuba mask attached to a laptop. We kept on it, and...we began the Glass Explorer Program. ... Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk...but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run.
We’re closing the Explorer Program so we can focus on what’s coming next. ... Hang tight. MORE
Natch, Kevin C. Tofel reads between the lines:
At one point, a consumer version of Google Glass was expected to launch in early 2014.
So...Glass is dead? Or should Google be celebrating today’s news. ... That depends. ... Although Google seems quite clear that Glass is continuing, it’s quite a confusing situation. [But] in some sense, Google Glass is a confusing product. ... Here’s what I’ve learned:
Society isn’t ready for cameras that are aimed at them when having a face-to-face conversation. ... Contextual Google Now notifications on a wearable device are very useful. But they’re just as useful [on a] watch. ... If people are going to complain about having to recharge a smartwatch every one to two days, they’re going to like recharging glasses daily even less.
I don’t think Glass is “dead” but...Google is going to strongly rethink what it wants to deliver. MORE
Meanwhile, Mike Elgan said:
[Nothing, you idiot! He's locked in Leo's basement -Ed.] MORE
Update: With rumors of what's next, Alistair Barr puns it up:
Google to Reframe Wearable Glass Device.
The changes usher in a new strategy for Glass in which it will shun large, public tests of prototypes in favor of [developing it] in secret and releas[ing a] fully finished product...that launch-and-iterate approach backfired with Glass. ... The updated gadget will be cheaper and have longer battery life, improved sound quality and a better display. ... But the company is still grappling with the best way to design and build hardware.
Glass users prompted a privacy backlash...users were sometimes called “Glassholes.” Sebastian Thrun, a former Google X executive...said the team was surprised by the negative reaction and privacy concerns. ... “None of us had thought about that.” MORE
You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or email@example.com. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.