Google’s division dedicated solely to the manufacturing of wearables is now experimenting with new designs, including one without a screen. The Google Glass division, now called Project Aura, has at least three new prototype gadgets, according to a report from The Information.

Google glass

New gadgets are not glasses

One of those prototype gadgets is a headset that relies just on audio, but how it is going to be different from headphones or a Bluetooth earpiece is not very clear. It is possible that an audio-only device is able to achieve Glass’ original goal of hands-free computing. The Information reports that Google plans to promote the audio-focused gadget as a “sport” device.

In June, Google started its new wearable tech outfit called Project Aura to succeed the Glass division. The Google X moonshots lab was originally responsible for the Google Glass initiative, but Aura was moved under Google proper, according to reports. Nest Labs CEO Tony Fadell and famed designer Ivy Ross are heading the development.In August, Amazon laid off several engineers from its Lab126 hardware division, including many audio experts. It is believed that Google went on a hiring spree at that time, possibly grabbing up some of Amazon’s laid-off engineers.

The Aura team will not ditch screens altogether. The other two devices on which Google is said to be working reportedly have screens and are aimed at businesses that might need head-mounted displays. This suggests that Glass might come to an end as a product, but its original concept is still very much alive.

Another moonshot project from Google

In its other Moonshot project, Google and the American Heart Association are making a huge investment of $50 million to tackle the problem of heart disease. Earlier this month, Google Life Sciences and the AHA made an announcement that the money would go to one team over five years. More people die because of cardiovascular disease than anything else. Every year 17 million people die due to it, and this number is going up gradually. Of those deaths, 40% are due to coronary heart disease.

“We have the capacity to make very precise measurements of things that up until very recently, we’ve not been able to take a look at,” said Gregory Graf, a researcher at the Saha Cardiovascular Center at the University of Kentucky.


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