Google to stop consumer sales of Glass – for now

The US technology giant Google has announced that it is halting sales of its Internet-linked eyeware glass. However, it hope to reintroduce Glass as a more affordable, consumer product sometime in the future.

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Google said in a blog post on its Google+ social network on Thursday that it was ending the “explorer” program that allowed people interested in dabbling with the Glass eyewear to purchase the product for a cool $1,500 (1,288 euros).

“Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk,” Google said in a nod to its “explorer” clients.”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,” it added.

The company said that Monday would be the last day that consumers would be able to buy Glass under the explorer program. The availability of the product in the test phase was initially limited to the United States, before being expanded to Britain.

Google said it planned to reintroduce a more polished and affordable version of Glass at a later date, however it did not indicate when this might happen.

‘Graduation’ to new stage

The Google Glass post on Google+ also announced that the Glass team was to break off into its own division within the tech giant, away from the “Google X” research division.

“As we look to the road ahead, we realize that we’ve outgrown the lab and so we’re officially ‘graduating’ from Google X to be our own team here at Google. We’re thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality,” the statement said.

Google Glass connects to the Internet using Wi-Fi hotspots, or through the user’s mobile phone, and it allows the user to share pictures or videos through Google+. While popular with many who have tested it during the explorer phase, it has raised fears among the general public about its potential for intruding on an individual’s privacy by secretly taking videos or still pictures.

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