Glass-like wearable devices might have slipped into the background as engineers strengthen, rethink and rebuild, but inside companies like Google and Epson eyewear that connect to the Internet continue to pick up momentum.
Google has reportedly hired at least three engineers -- consumer electronics experts from Amazon's Lab126 -- to rebuild Glass under the name Project Aura, according to one report. The project, headed by Nest CEO Tony Fadell and led by former fashion industry veteran Ivy Ross, will remain part of Google and not become a stand-alone business in the new Alphabet holding company.
The move gives insight into Glass's future as a business and a consumer product that spans well beyond search engine marketing and online advertising as marketers know it today.
A quick search on the keywords "Project Aura" in LinkedIn returns 21 results, employees, from engineers to recruiters, along with 25 job openings, from creative lead, to antenna/radio frequency systems engineer. The description reads "Project Aura, Glass and Beyond."
New hires from Lab126 include Dmitry Svetlov and Amir Frenkel. Both also worked at Texas Instruments and Hewlett-Packard, and have a background in sophisticated programming languages.
Meanwhile, Moverio, Epson's answer to wearable-connected glasses, will commercially distribute the BT-200 smart glasses to the U.S. dental community, with help from marketing experts Patterson Dental and iDent. There are more than 16,000 dentists in the U.S. who use CAD/CAM systems to create dental prosthetics, one use of the glasses, says Epson.
Dr. Vasquez of Dr. Vasquez and Associates, a cosmetic and general dentistry office based in San Diego, Calif., wears the Moverio BT-200 smart glasses in his daily practice while using a system to scan his patients' teeth to create a variety of dental restorations.