Google is putting a hold on sales of its Internet-connected eyewear, Google Glass, while it develops a more discrete version than the “Explorer” version it has been distributing for two years.
The current version doesn’t contain any actual glass in the spectacles frame but has a thumbnail-sized screen attached above the right eye so a user can check email, take pictures, see Twitter posts or get directions.
In a Thursday blog post, Google likened the Explorer edition of Glass to an infant learning how to walk.
“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,” Google said.
Google began distributing the $1,500 device to computer programmers and about 10,000 randomly selected people in 2013 with the hope that the test group would come up with new ideas for using Glass and drum up enthusiasm for a hands-free way to remain connected to the Internet.
Although it generated plenty of hype and media, Glass turned many people off due to its odd appearance and the potential to intrude on people’s privacy by secretly taking pictures or video.
“It is a perfect stalker’s tool,” John Simpson, privacy project director of Consumer Watchdog, a group has been among Google’s most strident critics. “It’s difficult to see how they solve that,” he told Associated Press.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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