Back in 2013, people couldn't stop talking about Google Glass. It was science fiction come to life: who wouldn't want to have a pair of glasses that could take pictures and connect to the Internet?

It was a huge announcement, and Google subsequently hyped the glasses more than any other product the company was working on. The only problem was that, while the prototype models that a lucky few were using worked great, information about a price point or release date never came.

Then, in January 2015, Google shut down the Explorer program and moved the project out of the "Google X" development center. As a result, many thought that Google was outright abandoning the glasses altogether — as it turns out, that simply isn't the case.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the future of Google Glass. While there had been some new staff added to the project and the glasses were no longer at Google X, the project is still moving forward, with a focus on getting a consumer model ready.

"It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google ...We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn't true. Google is about taking risks and there's nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we're ending it.

"That's like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it's not driving me around now ...These things take time."

When the Explorer program closed back in January, Google shifted the Google Glass team from its Google X development studio into its own dedicated research lab. Tony Fadell now oversees the product's development and strategy, while Ivy Ross continues to act as project lead. According to Schmidt, Fadell was added to the project "to make [Google Glass] ready for users."

At this point, there's still no way to tell when Google Glass will hit retailers, or how much it will cost. That being said, it's clear that Google is dedicated to making the glasses happen — even if it takes a little more time than everyone expected.


Photo: Ted Eytan | Flickr

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