Google have today announced that they have acquired North, a company that is “a pioneer in human computer interfaces and smart glasses”, as part of their focus on “helpful devices”.
Although Google Glass is no more, Google is obviously looking in that space still with a new to have all your devices around you working seamlessly together such that you don’t notice them. They call this ambient computing.
Google have said that North have already built a strong technology foundation since their inception in 2012 and now Google are hoping North can help them build devices that make everyone’s lives easier. The goal is for technology blended into your world, and to have it “immediately accessible when you want it but hidden when you don’t”.
North, as you would expect given that they probably made a mint selling their company to Google, as pleased with the acquisition. Google, with all of their resources, will be able to help them achieve their vision of this ambient computing as Google calls it.
Over the last while, it became clear that aligning with Google would significantly advance our shared vision. This acquisition is a terrific fit for North and, importantly, we’re staying here in Kitchener-Waterloo.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, and to take an exciting next step towards the future we’ve been focused on for the past eight years.
As part of the acquisition North will not be shipping the second generation of their smart glasses, Focals 2.0 but we have no doubt that it will reappear in the future in another form — possibly Google Glass circa 2022.
While the original Google Glass flopped hopefully the next generation will be successful — personally I’d like one that is not just smart but adjusts the prescription for my vision on the fly for near and far vision, depending on what I’m looking at. Too much to ask for?