Google may have shut down its Explorer Program, but it's already seeding the next generation of Glass to those in the business community...
It seems reports of Google Glass' death have been greatly exaggerated. Sources tell 9to5Google that the search giant has been privately showing off prototypes of its next-gen tech specs to its Glass at Work partners. (Glass at Work explores how Glass can be used in a business environment.) It's been doing so as far back as October last year – before it launched the Explorer Program down the memory hole – but has also shown off a newer version to "some" of its more important partners at some point earlier this year.
Google is also said to have shuffled its engineers around since shutting down the Explorer Program, with a new team working on Glass. Tony Fadell, the man who started Nest, took over Glass in the middle of January.
Glass at Work reportedly has 10 start-ups working on new software for Google Glass and wearable devices in general. These teams are all contributing to what will be the next version of Glass. Or one of the next versions, anyway.
This is a very different approach to the Explorer Program, which threw Glass about like wedding confetti and watched what people did with it.
When it shut the Explorer Program, Google said it would "focus on what's coming next". Glass at Work has been a huge success thus far, so we could see the product become an addition to the workplace, rather than the preserve of skydivers and people on trampolines.
Since Glass was announced, we've seen a whole range of glasses and headsets using augmented reality and virtual reality. The Sony SmartEyeglass, for example, is already up for pre-order, and should ship in March.