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Google Glass is dead, Consumer Watchdog welcomes decision (Update)

Production of Google Glass, the wearable smart glasses featuring web-connected video screens, came to its end.

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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 part of this transition, we’re closing the Explorer Program so we can focus on what’s coming next. January 19 will be the last day to get the Glass Explorer Edition.

Simply put, it is a perfect stalker's tool.
John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director
"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."

Consumer Watchdog welcomed Google's announcement that it would stop selling Google Glass, its privacy invasive wearable computing device and said the Internet giant should not offer a new version until privacy issues are solved.

"Google Glass may have appealed to a bunch of socially clueless 'Glassholes' who were oblivious to our privacy rights, but the device fulfilled no real consumer need," said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director. "I'm only surprised it took them so long to kill the program as we know it."

Last April the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group issued a report that found Glass inappropriate for the broad consumer market and urged consumers not to buy the device.

Noting that Google said the company still hopes to offer a revised version of Glass, Consumer Watchdog said a Glass 2.0 must include privacy protections. The key problem with the wearable device, Consumer Watchdog said, is that it allows a user to easily make surreptitious and intrusive video recordings.

"Simply put, it is a perfect stalker's tool," said Simpson. "It's difficult to see how they solve that."

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