The Google Glass account on Google Plus was updated on Thursday with news that January 19 will be the last day the Explorer Edition of Google Glass will be sold. Glass is "graduating" from Google Labs to become its own entity within the Google collective, allowing the company to focus on the next version of Google's controversial wearable tech.
"Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk," the update read, referring to the Explorer Edition participants. "Well, we still have some work to do, but now we're ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run."
The Wall Street Journal added a few more specifics, reporting that Ivy Ross will be in charge of the new "stand-alone" unit. Ross will report to former Apple executive Tony Fadell who still leads Nest Labs, which was acquired by Google back in February 2014. The site said that Fadell will run both Nest Labs and Google Glass and will provide "strategic guidance" to Ross and the Glass team.
"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 Google Plus blog added. "We're thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality."
The first wave of Glass specs was issued back in April 2013 to a limited few who were selected by the company, had a spare $1,500, and resided in the United States. Since then, the company has opened the Explorer Edition program up to anyone who can fork out the funds. The retail version is expected to be manufactured here in the United States and arrive sometime this summer.
"We're continuing to build for the future, and you'll start to see future versions of Glass when they're ready," the Google Plus blog concluded.
Will Google Glass become a hot item once it goes retail? That remains to be seen. The Explorer Edition wearers are already facing social issues related to restaurants, nightclubs and movie theaters. There's also the $1,500 price; it's rather steep for the general consumer. If Google wants Glass to become the next smartphone, it will need to deal with not only the price, but how the built-in camera can be less invasive to non-Glass wearers.
We've reached out to Google for additional comment.