Last Friday, it was reported that Canadian smart glasses startup North was on the verge of being snapped up by Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Today, it’s official.
North announced the acquisition on both Twitter and in an official blog. Details regarding the terms of the sale were scant, though a Globe and Mail scoop from Friday put the number at around $180 million. North’s remaining staff will, however, be staying in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada and joining a Google team also based there.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, and to take an exciting next step towards the future we’ve been focused on for the past eight years,” wrote North co-founders Stephen Lake, Matthew Bailey, and Aaron Grant in the blog.
Well, it looks like with the acquisition, we’ll never know if a Focals 2.0 would’ve fixed the problems of the original. North’s blog says the company will not only be winding down Focals 1.0, but that the Focals 2.0 will not ship. At the end of the blog, North provides an email for refund requests, and notes that customer support will continue through the end of 2020. And, if Twitter is any indication, refund emails to existing North customers have already begun hitting inboxes.
Yup, this is how monopolies kill the competition.
Note, this article claims that Google was the first company with smart glasses, but I’m pretty sure that Recon Instruments would disagree – another company that was bought up.
I talked about this problem during DORS/CLUC in 2019