Google doesn’t seem quite ready to give up on its Google Glass project, but the search-engine giant is reportedly making some big changes to how it develops the augmented-reality headset.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google Glass is no longer a part of the Google X research lab that birthed the project; instead, it’s now part of a standalone unit overseen by Tony Fadell, the CEO of Google subsidiary Nest. Given Fadell’s rising profile in the technology world, it seems unlikely that he’d inherit the Glass project just to kill it, which would make him look bad; it seems more likely that he’ll try to revamp the technology, much in the same way that he overhauled smoke detectors into sleek, Web-connected devices with aesthetic appeal.
If the report is accurate, the shakeup shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s followed Google Glass since its launch. While the technology was once viewed as the Next Big Thing, there have been indications over the past few months that third-party developers were losing interest in developing apps and software for it. Combine that with Google’s refusal to drop the device’s price from an eye-popping $1,500, and it seems pretty clear that the project will either need to undergo a radical shift, or die.
In the interim, if you’re one of those people with cash to burn who actually wants to own Glass, it might behoove you to purchase now: The rumor mill suggests that Google will soon stop taking orders for the device.