Google pulls plug on Glass, but the idea lives on

Google is ending sales of Glass, but insists it is still committed to launching smartglasses as a consumer product.

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Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive
Google is ending sales of Glass, but insists it is still committed to launching smartglasses as a consumer product.

The Glass team now become a separate operation, under its current manager Ivy Ross, who will report to Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive who is now chief executive of Nest, the home automation business was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion a year ago.

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"Early Glass efforts have broken ground and allowed us to learn what's important to consumers and enterprises alike," says Fadell. "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."

Glass was a product plagued by problems right from the start, from the $1,500 price tag (despite the bill of materials for the parts being only a little over $150), the initial limited release, to the goofy look. However, the most controversial feature of Glass was the front-facing camera. It seems that there were no shortage of people who didn't like cameras being in their faces. This raised significant privacy issues that Google did nothing to quell. For example, a Glass option without the controversial camera may have helped address this problem.

Google also did very little marketing for Glass outside of the initial fanfare (and over-the-top) unveiling, instead choosing to leave the job to tech evangelists such as Robert Scoble, who, after being one of the product's strongest supporters, announced last year that he was giving up on it, calling it "freaky and weird".

The bottom line is that users are fickle and move on to new things.

Still want Google Glass? The program will run until January 19, so you still have a few days left to pick up a pair.

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