Like it or not, the “metaverse” is the next trend every major tech company is chasing. While the jury’s still out on whether or not it’ll successfully change the world, it is getting attention from places you might not expect.
While Facebook has rebranded to sell its vision of the future, Google is also attempting to make its mark on the metaverse — all while throwing it back to a classic 2010s product.
According to a new report from The New York Times, the company behind Android is using its recent acquisition of North to make its mark on virtual spaces. Google bought the smart glasses maker in the summer of 2020 after the project failed to introduce a successor to its initial gadget while working under Intel.
It was unclear at the time what the company intended to do with North, though it now seems like a successor to Glass might actually be in the works.
Although North was working on other projects when it was acquired, its most notable gadget was undoubtedly its Smart Glasses, which paired prescription lenses with a projected display. With a built-in mic and ring controls you wore on your finger, Smart Glasses worked like a heads-up display, alerting you to incoming notifications or giving you step-by-step navigation on a walk.
It’s a vision for the future Google has had for nearly a decade after it first launched Glass for developers in 2013. Although a commercial release never panned out, it also seemed like the sort of project the company could return to after the technology behind it improved.
This metaverse trend might just be the perfect time for Google to try again — and its North acquisition might just make it possible.
Today’s report comes just a couple of weeks after the company made a high-profile hire in this space, with a previous Oculus employee leading up development on an AR operating system. All signs point to some major advancements in this space, though whether or not we see new hardware in 2022 remains to be seen.
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