Anonymous sources are telling multiple media outlets that Taiwan’s Foxconn will manufacture Google’s new Glass device at a plant in Santa Clara, California. The device will not become available to the general public until much later this year or early next year.
Tim Bradshaw with The Financial Times reported, “Google will manufacture Project Glass, its futuristic digital eyewear, in Silicon Valley, in a high-profile example of the return of electronics manufacturing to the US. Google is working with Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer better known as Foxconn, to assemble the sci-fi headset at a facility in Santa Clara, California, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.”
VentureBeat’s Tom Cheredar noted, “Foxconn is also responsible for producing a large number of products for Apple, so it’s not surprising for them to grab the contract to build the new smart eyeglasses. If true, the move would mark Foxconn’s first manufacturing operations withing the U.S. Hon Hai first expressed interested in creating U.S. manufacturing plants back in November, with likely locations being job-starved Detroit and Los Angeles for production of Apple’s Mac Mini computers.”
Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Tim Culpan and Brian Womack added, “Google plans to invite a limited number of users to test the interactive glasses in the next few days after conducting an online competition, it said yesterday. For $1,500 developers could buy the device, whose features include taking a picture by voice command, Brin said in February. In June, Brin said he expected to make the device available to product testers early this year with a broader consumer offering by 2014.”
The Guardian’s Conal Urquhart observed, “The small scale and experimental nature of the manufacturing makes it desirable to base production in California to allow constant monitoring and updating. Initially, the numbers produced will be small. If the product is a success, they could be mass produced in China. Components will be produced in Asia but assembled in California.”