Google may have renamed Glass in revitalization effort

New name hints of a big rethink of Glass and wearables

Google Glass

Google Glass.

Google appears to be renaming its Google Glass effort and expanding its work on wearables.

The company has renamed its Google Glass work Project Aura and has scooped up staff from Amazon's secretive Lab126, according to a report from Business Insider.

Google declined to comment on the report.

If it's accurate, though, the move is likely part of Google's attempts to get out from under the negativity that had blossomed around Glass and revive its wearables effort.

Aura is also separate from Project Ara, Google's push into modular smartphones, according to Insider.

In January, the company pulled Glass to give its engineers a chance to rework how the computerized eyeglasses both look and function.

At the time, Google would not give a release date - or even a timeframe - for people to get a look at Glass version 2.0, only stating that its "team is heads down building the future of the product."

A big part of what Google has to rework is Glass' image. Many people had come to find Glass creepy since they didn't know when a user might be recording them or what information they were seeing on the display when the user was talking with them.

Establishments from a casino to movie theaters and a bar all banned Glass users.

If Google is renaming its Glass project, that could be a good sign that the company is focused on rethinking the entire product, said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.

"With the colossal market failure of Glass, they really had to name it something different," he told Computerworld. "New names are indicative of a desired change but don't guarantee a real change. The Glass name was a liability and needed to be replaced."

Moorhead also said he hopes Google expands its wearables from Glass to a broader range of products.

"I would expect that," he said. "They are clearly behind Apple on wrist wearables... They have a lot of ground to make up."

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