Google Acquires Augmented Reality Glasses Vendor North, Continues M&A Trends in AR Space

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By Eric Abbruzzese | 3Q 2020 | IN-5876


Another High-Profile Acquisition


Google is the latest to buy into the Augmented Reality (AR) market, this time by acquiring North. The Canada-based company, initially started as Thalmic Labs in 2012, launched its Focals smart glasses product in January 2019. Focals launched into the consumer market with a starting price of US$1,000, although the price dropped to US$600 soon after. The glasses had the unique requirement of an in-person fitting and purchase to ensure proper fit and compatibility. Despite the company’s original focus on the consumer space the next generation, Focals 2.0, targeted the enterprise market as well. Focals 2.0 has been shelved as a result of the acquisition, with Google instead focusing in on hardware and expertise to feed into other projects.

This acquisition will not only result in a technically capable, stylish, and user-friendly AR smart glass device, but will also be an opportunity for reinforcing consumer awareness and knowledge about AR, which is essential for driving adoption. Google’s brand name and expertise has the potential to capture consumers’ attention/inter…

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