Alphabet is reportedly looking to acquire the Canadian startup, North, and it would likely be used to help further Google Glass.
This comes out Globe and Mail, a very popular Canadian publication, who says that Alphabet is very close to closing the deal. And it could cost them $180 million to acquire the startup. Ironically, this would be one of Alphabet's cheaper acquisitions in recent history.
After North's dismal Focals sales, Alphabet is swooping in to buy the company
North stopped selling Focals not too long ago, because the sales were just not there.
The company reportedly stopped selling the first generation Focals to focus on the second-generation product, which has been teased for months. But has yet to actually launch. North did say that they would be "the most significant product introduction to date in the category." It would have a lighter and sleeker design, and a 10x display, wile also making the technology 40% smaller.
This report also mentioned just how low the sales of the first-generation Focals were, we're looking at around 1,000 pairs.
So why does Alphabet want North?
While Google Glass is now an enterprise product, after the company abandoned its goal of making it a consumer product. Alphabet has not given up on the product. And in fact, it might even have a renewed motivation in developing Glass, since Apple Glasses are on the way. And are much cheaper than Google Glass was – we're looking at a third of the price.
Purchasing a company like North, who has made smart glasses (even though they didn't sell well) is the way to go for Alphabet. Especially since $180 million is a drop in the bucket for Alphabet. It would also make for a pretty good addition to its hardware team. Which already consists of part of HTC and Nest.
North would work well with Google's AR and VR division, so hearing that Alphabet is interested instead of Google is a bit interesting. But where Alphabet owns Google and a number of other companies, it could just be an formality thing here.
Considering the report said that Alphabet and North are in the final stages of negotiating this deal, we could see it announced very soon, even as soon as today. It's definitely an interesting purchase for Alphabet and/or Google. And it shows that Alphabet has not given up on Google Glass as a consumer product. Though we'll have to wait and see.