Google has ended its sales of its Glass product indefinitely.
Further development in the tech will move to a new “blue sky division” headed up by current manager Ivy Ross. The programme, which launched in the UK in 2014, gave developers the chance to purchase Glass for £990.
Access rang events industry experts to get their take on the news.
“The shutting down of the Google Glass Explorer Programme has made big news and for some reason the media think that’s the end of Glass. I see Google’s Glass experiment as just that: up until now a large and public scale experiment that has given Google a significant amount of intelligence in the wearable tech field, learnings they will already be applying to iterate current and future products as we speak. I don’t see this as the end of Glass at all; in fact, I expect a relatively short hiatus before Glass returns to our world in more universally applicable forms.” –Wayne Morris, general manager, EMEA for Guidebook
“It’s certainly not a surprise [that it’s been halted]. Google isn’t interested in financing it anymore. What they wanted to do was to demonstrate that they were trying to do some cutting edge stuff, which is what they’ve done. I think that uptake has been very slow because people don’t really know what they can do with it. The actual Glass itself is pretty temperamental at the best of times, so I think it was inevitable – it has had quite a lot of bad press, mainly from the intrusiveness of it. It’s very slow in day-to-day stuff, very clunky, relatively inefficient, but there’s a whole load of other suppliers out there who will pick up the running.
“It is around to stay – it won’t necessarily be in the Glass format, but certainly wearables like that. You only have to look at CES, the amount of wearables that there were. It was nice to show tech people how life might be and try to change that mind-set. You can’t change that mind-set overnight. –Nolan O’Connor, chief marketing officer, ASP
“It’s always a shame to see an innovative product, and all the effort that has gone into it, go to waste. Google Glass was an interesting initiative, though it didn’t feel like it was truly answering a market need. Google launched a developer programme early on that seemed to attract individual techies, but not many businesses jumped on board with marketable ideas. Perhaps that should have been an indication that the product would be short-lived. In the event technology space, we couldn’t find a real use for Glass – it just doesn’t fit in the natural behaviour of a visitor. The event space is a great test bed for new ideas – it’s like a microcosm of the ‘open world’ – but with controlled parameters. If something doesn’t work within an exhibition context, it’s even less likely to work in real life.” –Stephane Doutriaux, founder and CEO, Poken