Google Snaps Up Canadian Smart Glasses Startup North

Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL) announced on Tuesday that it has acquired North, a pioneer in human computer interfaces and smart glasses, for an undisclosed sum.

According to The Globe and Mail, the search giant paid about $180 million to buy the Canadian startup. Google said the acquisition is part of its strategy to build helpful devices and services which all connect together.

“We’re building towards a future where helpfulness is all around you, where all your devices just work together and technology fades into the background,” Google’s Senior VP of Devices & Services Rick Osterloh said in a statement. “North’s technical expertise will help as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts and ambient computing future.”

The startup will join the Google team based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada, which is North’s hometown and an area with impressive tech talent, the online search engine giant said.

North, which was founded in 2012, makes everyday smart glasses that display computerized information. Google has a similar product called Google Glass, which is a handsfree wearable device that seeks to help businesses improve the quality of their output, and help employees work smarter, faster and safer. The glasses provide workers with glanceable, voice-activated assistance that is designed to be worn all day.

Shares in Google have surged 32% since dropping to a low in March and are now trading higher than at the start of the year. The stock rose less than 1% to $ 1,398.43 in early afternoon trading on Tuesday.

In view of the recent rally the stock’s upside potential looks more limited. Indeed, the average analyst price target of $1,523.40 indicates shares have room to advance a modest 8.8% in the coming 12 months. (See Alphabet’s stock analysis on TipRanks)

Overall, the Wall Street rating outlook for Google remains bullish. The Strong Buy analyst consensus boasts 29 Buys versus 2 Holds.

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