Google is rumored to be returning to the consumer smart glasses market

Google Glasses created quite a stir when it was introduced as Project Glass in April 2012. The video he shared showed how a Glasses user could use the wearable all day to send and receive text messages, take and share photos, navigate indoor maps, broadcast live video and more . But things never happened as planned. At $ 1,500, Google Glasses was expensive, and this was long before smartphones broke the $ 1,000 barrier. Shoppers had to go through an arduous process of adaptation, and after all this, they were not allowed to enter some bars and theaters for fear of sneaking photos. Worse still, some were called glass holes because no one knew when the camera was being used and who was the subject of a photo.

Is Google giving the smart glasses market another chance?

Finally, Glasses died as a consumer product, although it is still sold to companies today. And now that Apple is taking a hit in the consumer smart glasses market next year, Google may be trying to give it another try. According to The Globe and Mail (via 9to5Google), Google’s parent Alphabet, has gone beyond simply kicking the tires in a deal that would see Alphabet buy from Canadian wearable maker North for $ 180 million. We are willing to assume that the Alphabet purchase is made on behalf of Google.

North produces a line of smart glasses called Focals. In December, the company stopped selling Focals and started teasing Focals 2.0; The next-generation smart glasses would be the “most important product introduction to date in the category” according to North. The “lighter and sleeker” Focals 2.0 are said to have 10 times the screen, while the technology is miniaturized by 40%.

In April 2019, we told you that The focal points could give us an idea of ​​what to expect from Apple Glass. They resemble a pair of regular glasses similar to what tipster Jon Prosser told us to expect for Apple Glasses. They show calendar appointments, feature Alexa integration, offer turn-by-turn navigation, allow users to order an Uber, and more. The focal points are controlled by using the “Loop”, a ring that is worn on a finger and provides four-way navigation like a joystick. At the beginning of last year, North lowered the price of Focals from $ 999 to $ 599 and up. But sales of the first-generation glasses were said to be “tiny” and a person close to the company’s sales operations said no more than 1,000 units of the glasses were sold. Retail stores in Toronto and Brooklyn, NY would go days without a retail sale.

To buy Focals, users had to have a 3D model of their face. The machines needed to do this were available in just two stores, and later North opened up pop-up locations and also devised a way for a customer to scan their face using an iPhone.

While waiting for Focals 2.0 to hit the market, the company has not been generating any cabbage (cash). Monthly spending has been cut in half; even so, the North is running out of money, that’s why The balloon and the mail The story sounds legitimate.

So if Alphabet buys the North, Will Google return to the consumer smart glasses business? As we noted, the company was not successful the first time. However, Focals are much less ambitious than Google Glasses and the Mountain View boys may feel compelled to beat the launch of Apple Glass with 2.0 bulbs. Because Focals 2.0 won’t look like Google Glasses, a North purchase could give Google a fresh start in the consumer smart glasses business.
Rumors demand Apple Glass rely on a paired iPhone for processing and there will be no camera on the device, eliminating fear of being labeled as a glass hole. However, Apple Glass could be equipped with the LiDAR depth sensor first used on iPad Pro 2020 models. This will help the wearable provide the AR capabilities that are so important to a pair of consumer smart glasses.