Google Glass changes name to Project Aura, tries to change fate

Not all of Google's ambitious, sometimes insane, projects become as successful as it might have dreamed, no matter how expensive that dream was. Such was the fate of Google Glass, it seemed, the company's real first wearable, predating even Android Wear. That dream, however, never really died and might soon be making a comeback, with a fresh new name and some fresh new faces. Supposedly now called Project Aura, at least internally, the new team will be manned interestingly by some of Amazon's own lost engineers.

Google never really formally gave up on Glass. It stubbornly held on to the idea while at the same time admitting that things could have gone better. In stark contrast to the hype and fuss it stoked before, it now works in silence to revamp Glass into something less for you and me and more for workers, doctors, and professionals.

But Glass isn't going to be just an exclusive enterprise tool. At least not in the long run. Google still envisions a future where it can probably also see what everyone else is seeing, and, with the rise of wearables and interest in things like virtual and augmented reality, that future might be nearer than it was with the first Google Glass.

But some things have to change if Google Glass v2, or rather v4 now (v2 was a slightly revamped model, and v3 is the secret enterprise edition) is to really take flight. And change does seem to be afoot, at least internally. The team is now called Project Aura, says sources, for whatever reason Google may have. Not to be confused with Project Ara, of course. While Ivy Ross still heads the project as she did before, she now reports to Tony Fadell, head of Nest, according to sources. No confirmations on that one yet.

Perhaps equally notable is word that Google is on a hiring spree of developers and engineers, a good majority of which come from the Lab126 engineers that Amazon reportedly laid off. These are the very same engineers on whom Amazon has practically laid the blame for the failure of its Fire Phone. Hopefully, they will find a better home, and better success, in this new endeavor.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal