If you succeeded in a concrete niche, it doesn’t mean you will be successful everywhere. Probably this is true for Google. It’s the world’s largest search engine. Moreover, it has a huge potential and money to reach any goal in the tech industry. But the Google Glass proves the opposite. This is a failed project. No one can deny this. But Google hasn’t given up on the concept. Instead of developing a new design itself, the company has decided to turn to acquire startups to bring in new talent and technology.
If you remember, a couple of years ago, Google acquired North, a maker of AR glasses. As for now, the company has picked up Raxium. The latter is focusing on the development of microLED displays for AR and VR applications. Though the deal cost is not announced publicly, previously, we have heard that it costs Google around $1 billion.
As for microLED, it is much similar to OLED. It doesn’t use a backlight because each pixel emits its own light. In this sense, both work with the same concept. However, there is a difference and it concerns the materials. Well, according to industry experts, microLED ought to be brighter, more energy-efficient, and to fix longevity issues.
In order to be used in headsets, microLED should be tiny enough. It has not been an easy task. Plus, they must be small. According to Raxium, they could achieve pixels as small as 3.5 µm. This is way smaller than a typical OLED pixel.
However, Raxium hasn’t made a mass-market device yet. But this is not bad at all if recalling North’s experience. The latter produced a product and launched it on the market, the Focals 1.0. It was priced at $600. Moreover, the pair of AR glasses were priced at $1,000 at launch. But they were discounted after the launch.
Lastly, we’d like to recall that Google is not the only tech giant that is actively working on AR devices. Prior to this, its closest rivals Apple and Meta have also acquired startups that work in the field of AR glasses.
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Many analysts believe that smart glasses have the potential to replace smartphones as the way most users interact with the digital world.