Google Looks To Bolster Its Hardware Division With North Acquisition

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As reported last week, Google has announced that it is acquiring North.

Last week, reports came out that Google was close to acquiring North, and now the deal is official. As announced by Google on its blog.

As usual with these kind of announcements, Google has not said why it acquired North. But we can pretty much assume it is to help with Google Glass. Especially since Apple is preparing to release its own pair of smart glasses soon. Not to mention the fact that North has been working on smart glasses, and shipped the Focals earlier this year.

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However, this acquisition also means that the Focals 2 will not be shipping. Customer service will continue through the end of 2020, with those that purchased a pair getting a full refund. The app will also stop working, as it is removed from the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.

Google is continuing its focus on helpful devices

In the blog post, the title was "Our focus on helpful devices" which pretty much tells us what they envision to do with North. Rick Osterloh, who is in charge of Google's hardware division, talked about ambient computing quite a bit as well.

Stating that Google has "always strived to be helpful to people in their daily lives." Continuing by stating that the company is "building towards a future where helpfulness is all around you, where all your devices just work together and technology fades into the background."

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There are lots of ways we can speculate about what North might be working on under Google's umbrella now – once the deal officially closes. But it wouldn't be surprising to see a Google Assistant-powered pair of smart glasses. Something that would work seamlessly with the Nest Hub, your smartphone and even Android TV.

North's team is staying in Canada

According to both Google and North, the team is staying in Canada. It'll be joining Google's Kitchener-Waterloo team in Canada. This is pretty similar to what Google did with the portion of HTC it acquired a few years ago. Where it kept that team in Taiwan, instead of moving them to Mountain View to work on the Pixel.

This is exciting times for Google's hardware division. As they are working on some pretty cool stuff. And now with the acquisition of a company that has produced smart glasses, it's clear that Google isn't giving up on Glass for consumers. Though it could come out as something very different.

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