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Google Glass is growing up. On Thursday, Google confirmed that it is planning to take its computerized eyewear product out of the experimental Google X unit. Instead Glass will be its own division, and Google Glass head Ivy Ross will report to Nest CEO Tony Fadell.
Tony Fadell is famous for contributing to the birth of the iPod at Apple. He landed at Google after the company bought Nest, his smart home startup, in 2014 for $3.2 billion. Glass isn’t joining Nest, but the team will report to Fadell — which is the biggest expansion in Fadell’s role since he joined Google.
In the short few years that Google Glass has been available, it’s clearly been a kind of beta test. Google has called its beta testers “explorers,” and with a $1500 price tag, Glass has generally been too expensive and experimental for mass consumption.
Recently, worries about the platform’s future have led a few major developers, like Twitter, to abandon their Glass apps. Google says that a future version of Glass is on its way, possibly powered by an Intel chip. But Google didn’t provide a timeline, beyond that it will “launch when it’s ready.”
Google X is overseen by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and its offices, according to a 2013 article in Businessweek, are not on the main Google campus.
Ivy Ross took over Google Glass in May after doing marketing work for consumer brands brands like Mattel and Disney — which is a good fit for Glass as it sheds its anti-social image through partnerships with fashionable eyewear companies like Luxottica.
Here’s a video of Fadell talking to Gigaom founder Om Malik at Roadmap 2014.