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Today is the last day Google Glass Explorer Edition will be available. The company on January 15 announced it was pulling the plug on its Explorer Program, which it described as an “open beta” outreach to consumers. After just under 3 years, the experimental Glass program did ignite a lot of excitement in the wearables space, but the $1,500 prictag seemed to steep to allow the devices to gain traction (and the privacy outcry didn’t help).

google-glass

Google put a positive spin on its announcement, positioning it as a reboot. “We’re continuing to build for the future, and you’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready,” the company’s announcement stated.

It’s estimated that between 10,000 and 20,000 Google Glass units made it to consumers through the end of 2014. Although Google announced at launch that Glass would not be accepting advertising, it was in 2013 awarded a patent for “pay-per-gaze” technology. As with the Android model, Google also encouraged third-party app development. Kenneth Cole, Virgin Atlantic and Sherwin Williams were among the brands that put Glass apps to use.

huawei-HonorGlass

Even as Google was pulling down the shades on Google Glass, China’s Huawei was rolling out smart glasses of its own. News of the rival Huawei device trickled out in November. Expected to be branded under Huawei’s Honor line of affordable phones, the devices are operationally similar to the Google model (gesture controls, frame-mounted camera and heads-up display, running on an Android platform), but are expected to retail for a fraction of the price. Sony also has something called the SmartEyeglass, which can attach to any glasses or goggles and make them smart.

The glass just might be half full after all.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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