Google buys Glass patents from Foxconn

Google buys Glass patents from Foxconn

Summary: The search giant snaps up patents, thought to relate to Google Glass, previously owned by Foxconn, ahead of a U.S. manufacturing rollout.

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TOPICS: Google, Patents
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(Image: Lori Grunin/CNET)

Google has bought patents from technology manufacturer Foxconn, as the search giant continues to move forward with Google Glass.

Taiwan-based electronics manufacturing and assembly giant Hon Hei (Foxconn) confirmed on Friday it had sold technologies to Google that generate "a virtual image and is superimposed on a real-world view," according to The Wall Street Journal

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bloomberg and the Financial Times reported earlier this year that the wearable glasses will be manufactured by Foxconn in California, giving the company rights to say the devices were "made in the U.S."

The manufacturing giant has two U.S. plants — California and Texas — with the former understood to be set for expansion to accommodate an expected rise in Google Glass assembly in the next year.

Foxconn is used not only by Google, but rivals to the search giant, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Nokia. 

Google is expected to release Glass in 2014. 

Topics: Google, Patents

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8 comments
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  • Google loves to splash the cash

    I wonder which aspects of Glass the corporation innovated in-house, rather than just buying or licencing other people's cool ideas. It strikes me that Glass does not really do anything new. It could have been done with a smartphone app, and this form factor is really just separating the screen from the device. And AR visors already existed before Glass, too. What really kills Glass for me is that it unnecessarily duplicates technology which the user already has in his/her pocket.

    Google always has plenty of cash to spend. They launched search and have been dining out on that to a large extent ever since, with a surprising lack of big in-house innovations for the real world in the meantime -- despite every employee spending 1 day in every 5 just being creative.

    And Google can afford a few luxuries, perhaps thanks to their policy of deliberate and outrageous tax avoidance on an international scale. Instead of money going to the roads, schools, hospitals and live-saving medicine, on which we all depend (including Google employees and customers), the money is instead diverted into schemes ranging from free haircuts and snacks for employees to private airports for the private jets of Google executives.
    Tim Acheson
    • What?

      How is this different from Apple buying up Siri, the square form factor, liquid metal, HD screens from Samsung.
      Wall.iPhone4
  • Patents for pervert device.

    This is a pervert and privacy invasion device and must be banned in all countries. This device will only help Google to make dirty money at the expense of peoples privacy.

    Stay away from anything Google.
    OwlllllllNet
    • Dirty money?

      As in, Diddy - Dirty Money? Man, Sean Combs has his hands in EVERYTHING.
      andrew.nusca
  • Hon Hai has sold out to Google

    After rising tensions, I'm disappointed but not surpassed that Hon Hai, once an ally of Apple, now seems to have sold out and joined the evil Borg.
    Tim Acheson
  • CM Product Patents?

    It is exceedingly suspicious that a contract-manufacturer (CM) has a patent portfolio in product development. Anyone know the background for this situation?
    tmccorm
  • I wonder if this is the patent..

    ...that allows Google to make them for less than my first car cost? Perhaps Foxconn had the patent on the use of plastic instead of 24k gold for the frames and glass rather than Belgian crystal for the lenses.
    jvitous
  • another example of IP abuse...

    The concept in question.. has been around for a very very long time.
    I question the patent office issuing a patent on this.
    Intellectual Property rights law... a very poorly implemented system in this country.. much less the rest of the world.
    jrlambert