Google Inc. (GOOG:US) plans to make digital eyeglasses in the U.S. with Foxconn Technology Group according to a person familiar with the plans.
The eyeware, designed by Google and featuring software and cameras, will be made by the Taiwanese company at its factory in California, the person said, asking not to be identified because the plans are not public.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is touting the device, dubbed Project Glass, as the future of mobile computing after describing smartphones as “emasculating.” Fashion designers, skydivers, acrobats and pilots have been used by Google to demonstrate the eyeglass computers, according to posts on the project’s Website.
The Financial Times reported earlier today Foxconn’s flagship, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317), will make the device.
Louis Woo, a spokesman for Foxconn and Jay Nancarrow, a spokesman for Google, both declined to comment.
Foxconn, based in Taipei, is the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics and the primary supplier of iPhones, iPads and iPods for Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) Its factories in China and Brazil make as many as 400,000 iPhones per day.
Google, founded in 1998 by Brin and Larry Page, has grown to become the world’s largest Internet-search company with annual revenue (GOOG:US) last year of $50 billion. The Mountain View, California-based company entered the hardware business in 2008 when it released the G1 handset in conjunction with Taiwan’s HTC Corp. (2498) as part of its strategy to promote the Android mobile operating system.
Securing orders from Google could be a boost for Foxconn and help it reduce reliance on Apple, which accounts for about 40 percent of its revenue, as the Cupertino, California-based company loses share to handsets using Android.
Google plans to invite a limited number of users to test the interactive glasses in the next few days after conducting an online competition, it said yesterday. For $1,500 developers could buy the device, whose features include taking a picture by voice command, Brin said in February.
In June, Brin said he expected to make the device available to product testers early this year with a broader consumer offering by 2014.
To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org Tim Culpan in Taipei at email@example.com.
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