Google Purchased AR Startup North in Shift to Ambient Computing

Google has purchased Focals by North, an augmented reality (AR) company, which provides frictionless access to mobile apps via a heads up display that only the wearer can see.

The Focals product lets users see baseball scoresweatheranswer textsaccess their calendar and other useful functions.

Google has tried their hand at AR before with Google Glass, but failed before. Google Glass were bulky and didn’t look very slick when it was being worn.

With the Focals by North products, it is not only useful, but discrete. The glasses aren’t the computer, but the user’s cell phone is. The glasses connect to the mobile phone through Bluetooth and function as a controller and a heads up display. Because of this, the Focals by North product are stylish, especially compared to the clunky Google Glass devices.

Something else nice about them is that operating them is descrete as well.

In an article in 9to5Google, you can operate it with a mini joystick that can be used from a jacket pocket.

Messages can be responded to by using pre-made suggestions with out any typing.

What does this mean for the search marketing community? The internet ecosystem that was previously predicated on web pages viewed on desktops and laptops, but are now evolving into a more ubiquitous presences that is shifting to voice and AR technologies.

This trend is what Google calls ambient computing.

This is how Google says the future of the online ecosystem will look:

“From 10 blue links on a PC, to Maps on your mobile phone, to Google Nest Hub sharing a recipe in the kitchen, Google has always strived to be helpful to people in their daily lives. We’re building towards a future where helpfulness is all around you, where all your devices just work together and technology fades into the background.

We call this ambient computing.

SourceRoger Montti

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