Google may have shut down its Explorer program and stopped sales of Google Glass, but the controversial wearable technology isn't dead yet. That's according to Eric Schmidt, Google's Executive Chairman, who told the Wall Street Journal Google's Nest division will now determine what's next for Google Glass.
Despite criticism that Glass violates people's privacy by creating a “little brother” phenomenon that happens when someone on the street records others without their consent, Schmidt said the technology is simply too important to abandon. Speculation was rampant that Google was sticking a fork in Glass when the company yanked the product off shelves in January. Instead Tony Fadell, the head of Google's Nest division, which develops connected home technology, will try “to make it ready for users.”
“It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google,” Schmidt told the Journal. “We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn't true. Google is about taking risks and there's nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we're ending it.”
Schmidt compared the project to Google's investment in autonomous cars. It's an initiative that might take years to perfect, he said, but there's no question Google is committed.
“It's like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it's not driving me around right now,” he told the newspaper.
While the future of Glass remains unclear, the man responsible for bringing it back to life is no stranger to tech development. Before Fadell joined Nest Labs he spent much of his career at Apple, where he was dubbed one of the “fathers of the iPod” after being one of the executives in charge of Apple's iPod and Special Projects group.