The Made by Google hardware division this morning announced that it acquired North. This follows a report last week about the Canadian smart glasses maker looking for an acquisition amid dwindling resources.

Today we’re announcing that Google has acquired North, a pioneer in human computer interfaces and smart glasses. They’ve built a strong technology foundation, and we’re excited to have North join us in our broader efforts to build helpful devices and services.

Hardware chief Rick Osterloh talked about ambient computing in announcing this deal:

From 10 blue links on a PC, to Maps on your mobile phone, to Google Nest Hub sharing a recipe in the kitchen, Google has always strived to be helpful to people in their daily lives. We’re building towards a future where helpfulness is all around you, where all your devices just work together and technology fades into the background. We call this ambient computing.

North’s co-founders spoke to how “Google would significantly advance our shared vision.”

This acquisition is a terrific fit for North and, importantly, we’re staying here in Kitchener-Waterloo. We’re proud to have grown our company in the Kitchener-Waterloo region and are thankful for the tremendous support we’ve received from the community. We are looking forward to remaining in the region with Google.

The North team will be joining Google’s Kitchener-Waterloo team in Canada. As part of this acquisition, Focals 2.0 will not be shipping — originally expected this year — as the first-generation pair gets wound down, with sales stopping in December.

North says it will be issuing a full refund for all paid Focals orders. Customer support will continue through the end of 2020. On July 31, the Focals app and North account backend will stop working as the apps are removed from Google Play and the App Store.


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Abner Li

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