HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
NEWS & INFORMATION FOR TECHNOLOGY PURCHASERS. UPDATED 13 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / World Wide Web / Google Buys a Stake in Glass Partner
Google Buys a Stake in Google Glass Partner Himax
Google Buys a Stake in Google Glass Partner Himax
By Adam Dickter / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
JULY
23
2013


Google Glass, perhaps the most hyped and controversial piece of technology on contemporary consumers' radar, is to hit store shelves in a few months. And a newly disclosed deal between the search giant and budding hardware manufacturer and a much smaller company that specializes in small displays shows that the company is looking to produce the pioneering wearable-tech device as efficiently as possible.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google will purchase a 6.3 percent stake in Himax Displays Inc., a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Himax Technologies. The investment will allow the smaller company to increase capacity and enhance its capability to mass-produce liquid crystal on silicon ("LCOS") chips for the mass-produced version of Google Glass, as well as other products such as head-up displays and pico-projectors, according to a statement from the company.

Pending regulatory approval and meeting of closing terms, the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013.

Ramping Up Production

"Google is a pre-eminent global technology leader," said Jordan Wu, president and chief executive officer of Himax, in a statement. "We are delighted to receive this investment and to form a strategic partnership with Google. Beginning the second quarter of this year, we had already begun expanding capacity to meet demand for our LCOS product line. This investment from Google further validates our commitment to developing breakthrough technologies and state-of-the-art production facilities."

A Google spokesperson told us in an e-mail statement: "Himax Display has been a great partner for several years now. This investment is an extension of this partnership, which we hope will allow the team to continue to develop their operations."

Currently in the beta testing phase, Google Glass will allow hands-free interaction with a computer similar to a smartphone, responding to voice commands for searches and other functions. While tech fans see it as awesome, critics say it will further erode privacy and meld humans and machines into some kind of cybernetic sci-fi nightmare. Though it was slated for widespread release this year, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told the BBC in April that developers wanted more time with it, making an early 2014 launch more likely.

The Meat of the Deal

It's unclear how consumers will react, but the deal with Himax seems to show that Google wants to reduce the risk involved.

"It's designed to provide the funding needed to ramp up production and ensure quality," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

"But it also casts light at the often uneasy balance between innovation and practicality in technology. Like hot dogs, people love to have their tech gadgets and toys in-hand without thinking much about the sausage-making required to put them there."

The Google-Himax deal, King told us, is "definitely in the sausage-making category but shouldn't be dismissed due to its simple practicality."

The deal gives Google the option to increase its stake in Himax later to 14.8 percent.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY INTEREST YOU
Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.
MORE IN WORLD WIDE WEB
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
The FBI is pointing the finger of blame for the Sony Pictures cyberattack directly at North Korea. The hackers stole confidential data and caused the movie giant to can its new comic film, "The Interview."

ENTERPRISE HARDWARE SPOTLIGHT
Remember the classic BlackBerry that took the cell phone market by storm in its heyday? Well, it’s retro time at the Canadian handset maker as it rolls out the aptly-named BlackBerry Classic.

© Copyright 2014 NewsFactor Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.