Google Glass goes dark on social media

Google is known to be working on a new smart-specs project, but it looks like it won't bear the Glass moniker.

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Time for redesign and possibly a rebranding.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Remember Google Glass? Well, Google would apparently rather you didn't.

The tech titan last weekend erased all the social-media channels dedicated to its $1,500 smart specs, which it stopped selling in January 2015. Google Glass wearers, or Explorers as they are known, are left with only a support page bearing a phone number and email address.

At the heart of the Glass community was the Glass Explorers group on Google+. This is where videos were posted of Google execs jumping on trampolines wearing Glass and of models wearing the specs at New York Fashion Week. The page remains, but all content has been wiped. The Glass presence on Facebook and Twitter have been deleted completely.

Glass wearers may have been harmless early adopters keen to get their hands on new technology, but they also caused problems wherever they went. The main objections to the camera-equipped device were privacy-related, with many concerned about hacking, surreptitious photography and filming. The device was also banned from many movie theaters due to concerns about piracy.

Glass and its wearers may have been the butt of many jokes thanks to its rather ungainly design, but that doesn't mean this is the end of Google smart glasses. Appearances suggest it has given up on the Glass name, but that doesn't mean it has given up on the concept. The Mountain View, California, company is known to be working on a new version of its face-mounted technology, with photos of a new prototype appearing online last December.

The social-media blackout seems to be Google's attempt to expunge from the Internet the last vestiges of a brand that never achieved mainstream coolness. What we will get from Google instead is a product currently nicknamed Project Aura, which will be redesigned from the ground up.

In charge of the new specs is Tony Fadell, who has been a Google employee since it bought his company Nest in 2014. Fadell has got some respectable design credentials -- he's responsible for the Apple iPod and was also the man who persuaded the tech world to fall for a thermostat, Nest's first product. Now he's got to bring the love to a largely unloved product.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

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