In Brief

Google Glass 'dead' as search giant shelves production

Officially it's another step in an 'amazing evolution', but analysts say Google Glass experiment is over

Production of Google Glass, the wearable smart glasses featuring web-connected video screens, is to come to end, but the company insists that it remains committed to the idea and will release a new version of the glasses "when they are ready".

The technology delivers information to users through a small transparent screen attached to modified spectacle frames. Glass can also take photos and videos, show maps and connect to the internet.

Following a protracted period of testing in the United States in 2013, Glass was launched in the UK last summer as part of the Glass Explorer programme, which made prototypes available to a select band of developers. But after a wave of initial excitement about the project, enthusiasm soon began to wane as concerns emerged over the wearable technology's safety and its impact on privacy.

Some bars and restaurants banned people from wearing Glass on their premises. And early adopters complained that the technology was not developing in the ways that had been promised, BBC reports.

In a statement posted to its Google+ account, the company said the Glass team will now be removed from the experimental Google X labs division, to become a separate team under manager Ivy Ross.

Google described the Glass Explorer programme as "a kind of 'open beta' to hear what people had to say".

"As we look to the road ahead, we realise that we've outgrown the lab and so we're officially 'graduating' from Google[x] to be our own team here at Google," the statement said. "In the meantime, we're continuing to build for the future, and you'll start to see future versions of Glass when they're ready."

Google has tried to present this announcement as "just another step in the evolution of an amazing innovation", says BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, "but make no mistake - Google Glass is dead, at least in its present form".

The company will now have to deal with "a disgruntled community of Explorers" who bought the device believing it would develop into something indispensable, Cellan-Jones concludes.

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