Google Glass Executive Steps Down

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Head of business operations for Google Glass steps down, as the future of the wearable device remains uncertain

Chris O’Neill, the former business head for the Google Glass project, has stepped down.

O’Neill was appointed as head of global business operations at Google X back in May 2014 but has now relequinished his role – although he told Re/code that he would be staying at the search engine giant.

The news comes after Google’s decision in January this year that it was ending the beta programme and would stop selling the wearing devices in its present form to consumers.

Uncertain Future

VirginGoogleGLass12The move surprised many and also angered developers and organisations that had developed real-world applications for the device, and those that had spent $1,500 (£975) buying the smartglasses.

However Google said it would continue offering Glass to enterprises as organisations such as Tesco, Virgin Atlantic, Edinburgh Airport and even the police in Dubai all use the device. At the same time, Google said it was moving the Google Glass team out of the “Google X” incubator labs, to become a separate division under current manager Ivy Ross.

She reports to Tony Fadell, the former Apple executive who is the chief executive of smart-home device maker Nest Labs who will oversee the development of the next consumer iteration of the wearable device.

Google’s commitment to the Google Glass project has been previously called into question, after it was revealed in July 2014 that Babak Parviz, credited with starting Google Glass, had left Google and joined Amazon instead.

Secret Labs

The top-secret Google X lab has been responsible for a number of cutting edge inventions in recent years.

This includes Google’s famous self-driving car and the internet access program Project Loon. The company said recently it is close to being able to launch ‘thousands’ of balloons to deliver internet connectivity.

Google X also partnered with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis last July to create ‘smart’ contact lenses, designed to help people with diabetes track their blood glucose levels.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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