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Google making big changes to Glass program

Google making big changes to Glass program

The company will stop selling the unit to the public on Jan. 19

Google will stop selling its Glass head-mounted computer to the public on Jan. 19, as part of other big changes Google is making to the product's program.

On that day, Google will close its Explorer program for Glass, the company said Thursday, adding that future versions of Glass will be made available "when they're ready."

They could be ready later this year as the company continues to work on the product, Google confirmed Thursday. The company will continue selling Glass to businesses and developers for work applications.

Glass will also be moved out of Google's X research lab into a stand-alone unit. The unit will be led by Ivy Ross, an executive and designer who was announced as head of Glass last year. Ross and her team will report to Tony Fadell, who heads Nest Labs, which was acquired by Google last year, Google confirmed.

Glass will stay within Google and won't become part of Nest, Google said Thursday. Google first made Glass available to applicants through its Explorer program in 2013. There was a larger public release last year. But in growing the program, Google has faced questions about privacy and the best use of Glass.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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