Google Buy Smart Glasses Maker After ‘Glass’ Flop
Google has confirmed its purchasing smart glasses maker, North, for an undisclosed sum, resurrecting its intelligent display initiative after the failure of ‘Google Glass.’
While the purchase price has not been revealed, Globe reports it could be around US$180 million.
The acquisition follows several months of rumours, and was officially confirmed via company blog entry from hardware chief, Rick Osterloh.
“North’s technical expertise will help as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts and ambient computing future,” says Mr Osterloh.
North’s Focal glasses will no longer receive support after July end, with the company issuing refunds for all paid orders made from June 30.
The company has also ceased development on its next-gen Focal glasses, which commentators claim could be fused into Google’s efforts.
The deal will see North’s team work closely with Google’s hardware division, thereby accelerating the tech giant’s augmented reality push, and smart glasses resurrection.
The news comes as wearable sales continues to accelerate as consumer comfort rises. Google is also in the midst of acquisition proceedings with fitness tracker maker, Fitbit.
Commentators suggest it’s likely Google’s wearables ecosystem will exist symbiotically across its smart glasses, smart earbuds and smart watches.
Back in 2014, Google launched its Google Glass smart spectacles, which failed to make much of a splash with consumers.
Recent reports suggest Apple has also heavily accelerated its augmented reality push, with the development of smart glasses too.