There are some big changes in store for Google Glass, and the first change is the demise of the Glass Explorer program. Google opened up the Explorer program in April 2014 to anyone that was willing to fork over $1,500 for the privilege to own Glass. After January 19, the only individuals that will have access to Glass will be companies involved in the Glass at Work program and app developers.
Glass is also getting promoted from the Google X research lab, and will get its own independent division within Google. Current Google Glass chief Ivy Ross will still head the division, but she will now report to Nest co-founder Tony Fadell. Fadell came aboard after Google purchased Nest for $3.2 billion in early 2014.
"Early Glass efforts have broken ground and allowed us to learn what’s important to consumers and enterprises alike," said Fadell in a statement to The Verge. "I’m excited to be working with Ivy to provide direction and support as she leads the team and we work together to integrate those learnings into future products. I remain fully committed to Nest and am equally excited about our work there, which continues to accelerate."
A new version Glass is expected to launch sometime in 2015, but Google is going “radio silent” for now as it works on the project in secret. Fadell knows just a little bit about working under the radar as he is widely considered the father of the iPod and worked on the team that brought us the original iPhone back in 2007.
And Fadell brings more than just his experience at Apple to the table; he and Nest co-founder Matt Rogers brought us the innovative Nest Learning Thermostat (of which I own two and love) and the Nest Protect smart smoke + carbon monoxide detector (which has sparked absolutely zero interest from this gadget lover). We just hope that Fadell’s wealth of experience in the devices market helps to ensure that Ross and her team can storm the market with even better versions of Glass in the future.