Last November, Google quietly closed down its Google Glass base camps, the pop-up stores where interested parties could enter to learn more about Google Glass and even purchase a pair. That move suggested that Google Glass, as a consumer product, was on hold – at least for a little while. Now, following rumors in December that an Intel-powered model is on the way, there’s a sign that Glass still has life left in it.
Google is shutting down its Google Glass Explorer program, a move that might seem like the ultimate demise of Glass, except it’s not. Instead, the project is getting its own division within Google and moving outside of the otherwise secretive moonshot Google X program. It’s now being led by Tony Fadell, who also runs the Nest business; the former head of Glass Ivy Ross will report directly to him, according to The Verge.
What does all of this mean? It suggests to us that Google is actually taking Glass even more seriously now and that it’s not just an Explorer program and a bit of a side project. Fadell certainly has the expertise to turn Google Glass into something compelling, at least he showed us that by turning boring thermometers into a highly sought-after household smart gadget. Hopefully this also means that a new design is just over the horizon.