After the failure of its own, smart glass, to go mass market, Google has bought a company that makes smart glasses.
Founded in Canada in 2012, North said “it would now be winding down support for its first-generation Focals”.
“We’re building towards a future where helpfulness is all around you, where all your devices just work together and technology fades into the background,” says Rich Osterloh, Google senior vice-president of devices and services. Other tech giants like Apple and Samsung are also alleged to be launching glasses, whereas Facebook’s Oculus division is looking to get virtual reality mass market.
According to the North, its product Focals hides a computer processor, Bluetooth module and battery in the arms of the frames. It is controlled via a ring called the Loop and friendly with Amazon’s Alexa, a holographic display which allows users to see notifications or even call a taxi. A basic pair cost approx. $599 (£480), with prescription lenses, it costs extra $200.
Leo Gebbie, CCS Insight analyst said “North’s smart glasses, they needed further refinement, but still represented a “crystal ball” into how the technology could evolve.”
He further added “The original Google Glass became an infamous venture for the company”.
“But arguably the product was simply ahead of its time. Smart glasses could be a revolutionary item of technology. And many Google services, such as Maps, would dovetail perfectly with the right piece of hardware.
“The race for the smart glasses market was likely to explode into life in the next few years”, he added.