Google tries again with Glass, rebrands as Project Aura

Steven Loeb · September 17, 2015 · Short URL:

The division will be working on Glass, as well as Google's other efforts in the wearables space

Google got a brand new name and identity earlier this year, and now its most infamous device may be heading in the same direction.

The Google Glass division, the ones that created the device that fizzled after being so hyped up, has a new name, according to a report out from Business Insider on Wednesday. 

The group working on the device is now called Project Aura, and it is Ivy Ross, who previously ran the Glass project, who is still in charge. 

Even more interesting is who they are getting to work on it; the company has apparently hired a whole group of ex-Amazon engineers, at least three of them from the company's secretive Lab126, who had been working on the new defunct Fire Phone, and who were let go from the company in a massive purge in August. As they say, another man's trash is another man's treasure. 

Aura is currently working on multiple projects, including the next version of Google Glass, but also the other wearable technology for Google.

Google Glass was so maligned, unfairly or not, before anyone had even had gotten their hands on it that it was likely always doomed to fail as a consumer device, at least initially. And when it did Google shut down the Explorer project, moved it of the company’s Google[x] experimental projects lab and instead revealed plans to invest in Glass at Work, strongly hinting at a possible shift from consumer to an enterprise endeavor. 

The consumer division of Glass was not dead, however, and only a month later the division was handed off to Tony Fadell, the founder and CEO of Nest, who is heading the revamped Google Glass project's new design team.

Ross will be reporting directly to him, though his time being in charge of Glass may be coming to a close as Nest is about to be spun off into its company under the Alphabet umbrella.

There is no indication of what Glass will be called going forward, if Google will keep the name or try to rebrand the device as well or how any of this affects the Glass at Work devices.

There's good reason for Google to not want to give up on Glass as a consumer device, as there is a ton of money if it gets it right. Augmented reality, which is the category that Glass falls under, along with virtual reality, which is more along the lines of Oculus, together are expected to be worth $150 million by 2020, up from what looks to be around $5 billion in 2016.

The best news for Glass is that, given its more practical usage, AR is expected to be dominating VR, $120 billion to $30 billion. 

So, yeah, Google is not letting Glass go that easily. Not with that much money at stake.

VatorNews has reached out to Google for confirmation of this report, but company had no further comment

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