Google Acquires Foxconn Patents To Enhance Google Glass (GOOG)
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has purchased an unspecified number of patents from the world's largest assembler of electronic devices.
According to the Financial Times, Google acquired the patents -- which relate to head-mounted displays that can superimpose virtual images onto real environments -- from Foxconn.
Owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (OTC: HNHPF), Foxconn is famous for assembling and manufacturing products from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Sony (NYSE: SNE) and other technology firms throughout the world.
By acquiring these patents, investors may see this as a defensive maneuver against competing products. Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) -- China's homegrown answer to Google -- is already producing its own Google Glass-style device.
Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) is also developing some kind of wearable device called Galaxy Gear. The first unit is expected to be a wristwatch, but Samsung may use the "Gear" moniker for multiple devices.
In addition to the patent acquisition, the Financial Times reported that Foxconn has set up shop in California to assemble Google Glass domestically. This is an interesting move for Google, which assembles its Moto X smartphone in America to cut down on shipping times. Google allows customers to customize the handset in hundreds of different ways and receive the phone in roughly a week. If the device was built in China or Taiwan, Google would not be able to move so quickly.
While Apple has promised to invest $100 million in American manufacturing, the company has yet to produce any of its iDevices in the United States.
Consumers have been able to find iMacs that were assembled domestically. Later this year they might also be able to buy Mac Minis that are assembled in the U.S.
Before the Moto X, Google also planned to assemble the Nexus Q -- an ill-fated audio device -- in the United States.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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