Google Glass Becomes Project Aura, Not To Be Confused With Project Ara

Google Glass has a new name and some new blood. Google Glass is now known as Project Aura and Google has hired engineers to give the project momentum.  

The company has been searching for a way to bring its techie glasses to the world after its initial attempts floundered. Google took the project out of the spotlight at the beginning of the year by killing the Glass Explorer program and moving the project out of the Google X lab into its own division.

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Since then, Google has been fairly quiet about Glass’ fate, releasing just the occasional tidbit of information to alleviate concerns that the project might be gone for good. Google acknowledged earlier in the year that the program was moved under Tony Fadell, who has been heading up the connected home division after selling Google his wildly successful Nest Labs. Rumors have swirled that Glass would make another appearance this year and one has, though it’s been available only to health care professionals and other businesses. A consumer-oriented Glass has yet to show up.

Project Aura remains under the guidance of Tony Fadell and is run by Ivy Ross, who also ran the project when it was Google Glass. (Ross reports to Fadell.) To bolster its team, Project Aura has been picking up engineers laid off by Amazon after its Fire smartphone failed to gain traction with customers. The engineers had been part of Amazon’s famous Lab126.

Google’s interest in distancing the wearable technology project from the Google Glass name is understandable, but the new name could cause more headaches if people confuse Project Aura with Project Ara. The latter is Google’s modular phone project, which has had its own troubles lately, after the mechanism for securing the phone’s modules failed during a drop test.

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