Most people remember that Google created a lot of buzz around the release of Google Glass, a wearable pair of smart glasses in 2013. However, the project was terminated within 18 months due to privacy, cost, and functionality concerns. Then in May of 2019, Google quietly released its 2nd version of the Google Glass, known as “Glass Enterprise Edition 2.” This version is currently available only for business use, and is utilized primarily in the manufacturing and health-care fields.
Google had initially released the Glass with the intention of creating a ubiquitous computer for the general public to wear as part of their daily life. However, Google now appears to be focusing the product on business applications. Since 2018, Google has only filed a single application for a neurology-focused patent in the AI Biotech sector, possibly indicating either a lack of interest, or intent to acquire a competitor. However, since the newest Glass is being used by healthcare providers, it is clear there is an interest, and therefore likely that Google hopes to acquire IP through acquisition rather than its own R&D.
One such company Google may be eyeing is Facense, a start-up company with 12 applications in the Neurology-focused AI Biotech sector in the past 2 years. Although Facense does not currently sell any products, their LinkedIn indicates that they are focused on developing “lightweight smart glasses with tiny sensors that continuously and unobtrusively measure all vital signs." Additionally, the company claims to be working toward development of smart glasses that could be used in early detection of COVID-19 symptoms. Facense was recently granted patents for wearable smart glass technology capable of providing neurofeedback, detecting allergic reactions, and determining the emotional state of user, among other capabilities.
If Google was ever looking to strengthen the desirability of its Google Glass for use in the medical field, acquiring Facense might be the next logical step. By the way, a quick look at Magic Number's AI Biotech/Diagnostic Patent Forecast ® indicates that Facense has the 5th largest IP portfolio for the AI Biotech: Neurology sector.