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Google Will Stop Selling Glass to Consumers After Jan. 19: Cheaper, Better Version Coming

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Sale of the current version of the wearable device Google Glass will end on Jan. 19, Google said, as the company closes the Explorer Program that helped Google obtain valuable insights regarding the product.

"Explorers," or the people who participated in the Glass Explorer Program, proved to be very valuable to the company as pioneers of the technology.

Armed with what it learned through the Explorer Program, Google Glass is now moving on from being under the Google[x] experimental division of the company and becoming a stand-alone division.

"Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk. 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," Google Glass wrote in a Google+ post announcing the transition.

Development for the Google Glass, which was launched back in 2012 at a price of $1,500, will continue after the end of the sale of its current version. However, no specific time table has been set on when the next model of the Google Glass will be released, as many expect the next version of the device to come at a cheaper price and with even more features included.

The transition that Google Glass will be making as a stand-alone team will see Tony Fadell in charge of operations. Fadell, known for the role he played in the development of Apple's iPhone and iPod and his creation of the Nest line of smart home devices, joined Google when the company purchased Nest for $3.2 billion.

In June 2014, Google tapped Ivy Ross, a big name in fashion marketing, to run the Google Glass team. Ross will now be reporting to Fadell, but the team will not be included within the Nest umbrella.

Glass still seems to be more of a cultural oddity than a legitimate device, especially with the coining of the term "glassholes" for its wearers. While 43 percent of consumers have shown interest in the device, 50 percent also have concerns on privacy, according to Forrester Research's J.P. Gownder.

"So Google needs to construct a consumer image for the product and deal with those privacy concerns if they want it to be mass market," Gownder said.

"I've been running startups for 20 years, and I've never seen this rapid an adoption for enterprise use," said CrowdOptic CEO Jon Fisher. CrowdOptic develops algorithms to allow Glass to send live streams from inside locations such as hospital surgery rooms and sports stadiums.

Fisher added the only weakness with Glass is its relationship with the consumer cycle, but he believes that the device will soon be moving from an enterprise device into a popular consumer device.

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