According to a new report out of Business Insider, Google over the summer started a new wearable technology effort called Project Aura. The group is reportedly spearheaded by Nest CEO Tony Fadell, but it’s unclear if that will still be the case when Nest becomes a separate Alphabet company. Project Aura, however, will remain within Google and not be folded into an Alphabet company.
Project Aura, according to the report, was started to aid in reviving Google Glass. For the project, Google has reportedly been hiring consumer electronics experts from Amazon’s secretive Lab126 to help run it. There’s more to Project Aura than Glass, however. In addition to rebranding Google Glass, the group also will allow Google to more closely complete with other rivals in the wearable industry. The main goal of Project Aura is to jump-start Google’s wearable technology efforts in general.
Because Project Aura is remaining within Google, it will be able to closely work with the company’s other advanced technology efforts such as Soli and Cardboard. It’s unclear, however, at this point whether or not Project Aura includes Google’s virtual reality efforts, such as Cardboard.
As far as Google poaching Amazing’s Lab126 executives goes, Dima Svetlov joined in May, while Amir Frenke joined in June. Svetlov worked on the Amazon Fire TV stick and joined Aura as a software development manager. Frenke joined Aura as a director of software development. Finally, Tina Chen joined Aura in August after working on Amazon’s Fire TV and home assistant device Echo.
Google’s new Project Aura group will likely kickstart the company’s efforts to develop wearable technology, but it’s unclear what specifically the group has planned. As we reported earlier this year, Google Glass is still very much alive and well. What exactly the Aura group holds in store for Glass remains to be seen, but at the very least, the company is still hard at work on the Enterprise Edition model of the wearable.
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