Google has acquired the Smart glasses company, North, which began its journey in 2012 with the name Thalmic Labs. The company updated their blog post on 30th June with the name North+Google announcing their acquisition by the technology giant. Google also has announced the same via a blog post.
The initial product was a gesture-based device called Myo which could convert neuro-muscular impulses into digital signals which can be recognized by computers. Later they started focusing on smart glasses with direct retinal projections and prescription compatibility.
In their blog post North’s co-founders Stephen Lake, Matthew Bailey and Aaron Grand has mentioned that “ 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’re proud to have grown our company in the Kitchener-Waterloo region and are thankful for the tremendous support we’ve received from the community. We are looking forward to remaining in the region with Google.”
The blog post by Google authored by Rick Osterloh says that the key factor behind the deal is the rich technological foundation of North.
North had released their first-generation smart glasses Focals 1.0, which had attained a significant amount of media attention. This was the most consumer-friendly wearable glass computing interface ever launched.
They resemble the normal glasses but with larger arms to house the computing components and also could project a display on to one frame showing messages and navigation. They wanted to release Focals 2.0 this year but now, this idea may not be supported by google after the acquisition.
Major limitations faced by focals was that it could not be booked online and the customer should go to the location twice for fitting and then adjusting when their order was ready. They were very expensive and had few software limitations. The main issue was with Apple users because of the low access to Apple’s iMessage platform.
The total value of the acquisition is unknown for now. North had raised a funding of $200 million since its founding in 2012. The company has mailed their customers promising full refund for the focals which were ordered.