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Sketchy suggestion of “different direction” for Google Glass as company invests in virtual reality startup


Chardan Capital Markets analyst Jay Srivatsa believes that a combination of two Google investment decisions could signal that the company is planning to take “a different direction” with Google Glass, reports StreetInsider.

Srivatsa noted that Google had decided against further investment in Himax, a company specialising in controllers for conventional head-mounted micro-displays, at the same time as investing in virtual reality startup Magic Leap … 

Google took a 6.3% stake in Himax last year, with the option to increase that stake to 14.8%. The investment was believed to be aimed at boosting the pace of development of modules suitable for a production version of Glass. Google has since decided against further investment in the company.

It has, though, invested $542M in virtual reality startup Magic Leap. While the company has so far revealed little public information about its plans, TechCrunch suggests that it may be working on a lightweight wearable headset capable of projecting “extremely realistic images like the one shown in the image above […] directly onto a user’s retina.”

Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz told TechCrunch that the two projects are unrelated.

Contrary to some speculation, however, this isn’t just about adding a feature to Google Glass – in fact, he says they’re completely separate and unrelated projects, and will remain so

While this would not rule out Google making a decision to discontinue its existing display technology in favour of the retina projection system, the conclusion from such slim evidence would have to be described as something of a stretch.

Google continues to work with third-party developers on apps for the device, with a particular focus on enterprise usage. The company recently announced that it had added five new companies to its Glass at Work Certified Partners scheme.

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