Is Google Eyeing Another Wearable Besides Glass?

Google is not stopping at its first failed attempt at wearables and is reportedly taking a fresh approach to building a new device under "Project Aura."

The project is currently working on three versions of a head-mounted device, which may be combined into two, sources told The Information. Taking a lesson from its Google Glass debacle, the company is simultaneously working on two models, which will serve a different set of functionalities for an enterprise user base and a sports-focused, active user base. The active user base model is expected to ditch the glass screen and instead work on an audio channel.

Project Aura, which is reportedly working on lauching a new device sometime next year, is being headed by Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest Labs and creator of Apple's iPod. Fadell is said to have past experience working on head-mounted designs for Apple.

Google's renewed efforts to find its place in the wearables market come after the company faced severe criticism for Google Glass, its first wearable device, which many users found overly expensive at $1,500 and clunky with poor battery life and a bug-ridden interface.

While it seems Google is changing directions to take an organic approach to building its next generation of wearable devices, it cannot be said that the company has completely killed its work on Google Glass.

In late April this year, Google was reportedly working on developing a new version of the Glass in collaboration with Italian glassmaker Luxottica.

“Glass is not dead,” said Ian Shakil, CEO of Augmedix, which is a certified partner of the Glass at Work program, in an earlier interview conducted in July. “Glass at Work is alive, growing and well.”



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