Google Glass
Google Glass is like company's autonomous car project, says chairman Eric SchmidtGoogle

The death of Google Glass may have been exaggerated, as Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt says the wearable remains "a big and very fundamental platform," for the company.

By ending the Explorer program, where developers and fans could buy Glass for £1,000 and create apps for it, it was assumed the project was dead. But Schmidt says this is untrue, and like the search giant's autonomous car project, Glass will take time.

"It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google. We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us cancelling the whole project, which isn't true. Google is about taking risks and there's nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we're ending it," Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal.

Schmidt added that, like Google's autonomous car development, Glass is a long-term project. "That's like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it's not driving me around now. These things take time."

But developing Glass has been - and remains - far from straight forward. Speaking at the South by Southwest conference in March, Astro Tella, head of the Google X lab which created Glass, admitted too much attention and the belief Glass was a finished product caused problems.

One not-so-great decision

"We made one great decision and one not-so-great decision," teller said in a keynote speech. "The former was selling Glass to developers and die-hard Google fans before gearing up for a general release to the public, which ultimately never happened. The latter: We allowed, and sometimes even encouraged, too much attention to the programme."

Although remarkably well-made for a prototype, Google Glass was never really more than that, but having sold hundreds to developers and fans, outsiders could be forgiven for believing Glass was a completed product ready for the mass market. Teller added: "We also did things to encourage people to think this was a finished product."

It was reported in early 2015 that Google is working on the second generation of Glass which will be cheaper, have a longer battery life, improved sound quality and a better display. Google will also need to work to remove the stigma attached to wearing the device, which is visually too far removed from a conventional pair of glasses for most people to feel comfortable wearing it.