Google Halts Glass Sales for 'Transition'
New, improved version will be out this year, company says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2015 10:51 PM CST
Updated Jan 16, 2015 4:32 AM CST
Prince Charles tries on Google Glass during a trip to Canada.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)
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(Newser) – Google is calling time on the first phase of its Glass experiment, but it promises that it will be back with an improved version of the smart eyewear. The company says sales of the $1,500 Google Glass through its Explorer program will end on Monday for a "transition" that will involve moving the project from the Google X experimental division to a stand-alone division, reports TechCrunch. Google says the new version that will be revealed later this year will be cheaper and have an improved battery life and display—and this time around, it will release a final version instead of providing prototypes to early testers, reports the Wall Street Journal.

After initial excitement, the Glass project suffered low sales and bad publicity, with users being dubbed "Glassholes" and the technology getting banned from cinemas. Although Google will still sell the old version to companies, Glass "is dead, at least in its present form," according to BBC tech analyst Rory Cellan-Jones. "As I found when I spent a couple of months wearing Glass, it has a number of really useful aspects—in particular the camera," he writes. "There is, however, one huge disadvantage—it makes its users look daft, and that meant that it was never going to appeal to a wide audience." A Google exec tells the WSJ that the company plans to remove the Glass "stigma" by pairing it with more familiar kinds of eyewear.