Google acquires Focals by North smart glasses to fix its hardware development woes

July 01, 2020
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"Hardware is hard" is a lesson Google learned with Google Glass and still feels about emerging technologies. Without pouring an enormous amount of capital and working on a wide range of components, including materials (like Facebook and Apple do), the only way to remain in the AR race is through M&A. This is what stands behind acquiring Focal by North, a financially struggling smart glasses developer (allegedly for less than its total raised funding) that has expertise in materials and optics for retinal holographic projections, mediocre software to prove the concept, and laser beam scanning IP coming from Intel. The current monochromic version of Focal is short of SLAM functionality but strengthens Google's push for AR ads market share.

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