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Alphabet rumoured to be planning purchase of North, the biggest competitor to Google Glass

Focals by North use a laser projector in the arm of the glasses to project onto a film in the lens. (Image Source: North).
Focals by North use a laser projector in the arm of the glasses to project onto a film in the lens. (Image Source: North).
North, the Canadian smart eyewear manufacturer, is reportedly in the final stages of acquisition by Alphabet (Google’s parent company). North is best known for its 'Focals' smart glasses, which are designed to look like regular glasses.
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According to a report by the Globe and Mail, this deal is rumoured to be valued at up to US$180 million, roughly equal to the total investment funding North has received over its 8-year lifetime. Globe and Mail’s source told them that the company was short on capital, having burnt through money at around US$6 million per month before stopping the manufacture of the 'Focals' glasses, and US$3 million per month as they prepared to release Focal 2.0.

Alphabet already has smart glasses in their portfolio, with the business-orientated Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2. Alphabet could provide the financial backing required to allow North to keep offering consumer-orientated eyewear, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they just integrated North’s features into improving Google Glass. Examples could include the custom face-fitting scans or the laser lens projection setup.

The report describes a fairly bleak outlook for North's financials, so regardless of what Alphabet’s intentions are, if Focals 2.0 aren't a hit then a buyout appears to be the best option for the company.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 06 > Alphabet rumoured to be planning purchase of North, the biggest competitor to Google Glass
Craig Ward, 2020-06-28 (Update: 2020-06-28)
Craig Ward
Craig Ward - News Editor
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.