Creator of Google Glass and camera-equipped contacts moves to Amazon
The man who created Google Glass has left the Mountain View, Calif., tech giant for Amazon, a sign that the Seattle online retailer may be eyeing an entrance into the wearable device market.
Babak Parviz announced his move this weekend through a post on Google+, saying he was “super excited” to start at Amazon. He was director at Google X, a Google division for futuristic projects like self-driving cars, levitating hover boards, and Glass, a device with a small screen and camera that users wear like a pair of glasses.
Parviz founded and headed the Glass team until May, when he was replaced by Ivy Ross, a veteran of the fashion industry. Parviz also led the team developing Google’s smart contact lens, whose potential uses include measuring the glucose levels of diabetic users and creating Terminator-like vision using a tiny camera and display.
It’s unclear what Parviz’s role at Amazon will be, but signs point to creating wearable devices. In April, Amazon rolled out a new shopping section on its website dedicated to wearable devices.
“Wearable technology is an exciting category with rapid innovation and our customers are increasingly coming to Amazon to shop and learn about these devices,” John Nemeth, Amazon’s director of wireless and mobile electronics, said at the time.
Since issuing the first Kindle e-book reader in 2007, Amazon has increased its presence in the hardware market. It’s released several touch-screen tablets since 2011, it released the Amazon Fire TV video-streaming player in April and just last month, the company introduced the Amazon Fire Phone.
More tech companies have flocked to the wearable device market since Google first announced Glass in 2012. In the last year, Samsung, LG and Sony have released smartwatches. Motorola plans to introduce a smartwatch this summer and Apple is expected to release a smartwatch this fall. Google last month released a modified version of its Android software designed specifically for wearable devices.
Neither Google, Amazon nor Parviz responded to requests for comment.
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