Google has quietly revived its troubled Google Glass project in a secretive new undertaking for which it has hired several Amazon tech experts.
Reported by the Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal, the project - dubbed Aura - will focus not only on improving the smart eyewear but also on developing new wearable technology products.
The project is believed to have got underway in June when Google reportedly recruited three consumer electronics experts from Amazon’s secretive Lab126 to start the new research group.
The Business Insider said it saw several LinkedIn profiles and job listings referring to Project Aura as ‘Google Glass and Beyond.’
Unlike Google’s other ambitious research projects developed in its secretive X Lab, Project Aura has been said to remain within Google’s core business, generally focused on its main Internet activities such as the search engine, maps and YouTube. In August this year, Google announced major restructuring, creating a new holding company called Alphabet. Under the new structure, most of the X Lab projects are now being managed separately.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Aura is run by Ivy Ross, the former manager of the Glass project.
Google suspended commercial sales of the $1,500 Glass earlier this year following criticism about its limited usability and its potential to violate privacy by allowing a user to record video virtually unnoticed.
The firm still distributes the devices to businesses and is reportedly working on an enterprise version of the gadget.
The engineers hired from Amazon to work for Aura, including Dima Svetlov and Tina Chen, previously worked on Amazon’s consumer electronics products, including the failed Fire smartphone.
Although Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt said earlier this year that the firm wasn’t giving up on Glass entirely, the existence of project Aura is the first firm sign of the company’s sustained commitment to wearable technology.
Google did not officially comment on the information.
Read E&T's analysis of seven problems with Google Glass.