When Google Glass was removed from the Google store in December, many thought it was the end of the augmented reality device, but chairman Eric Schmidt claims it is just the beginning of Glass.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Schmidt confirms Nest Labs are now in charge of making Google Glass a consumer product. The Explorer stage was simply a beta test, to see how the product fared in the real world with some help from enthusiasts.
“We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn’t true,” Schmidt said. “Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.”
Nest Labs have worked on the smart thermostat and smoke detector, but more recently have been focused on building out the “Works With Nest” program to include even more smart home devices.
The lack of new products hints at Nest creating several new smart home devices, or working solely on Google Glass. Given the potential augmented reality functions, Nest could integrate the headset to become a hub for the Works with Nest program.
Google Glass was envisioned as the new way to communicate, navigate and search. The earliest video of Glass – previously named Project Glass – showed a day in the life of a regular Glass user.
This involved getting directions when the subway was closed, booking tickets for a concert, taking a photo of street art and playing banjo to his girlfriend on a rooftop.
Why couldn’t Google achieve this goal? A few things — mostly the fact users were not willing to wear the headset throughout the day and speak into the microphone.
This huge detraction from normality was enough to freak most out, but Google Glass was also expensive at $1,500, meaning only the big enthusiasts were willing to pay for something that could be obsolete in two years.
Google has been working on various “moonshot” projects, like self-driving cars and cancer treatment. Glass is just another moonshot according to Schmidt, one that needs a lot of time and energy to perfect.