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Amazon may be developing its own smart eyewear

Amazon this week hired Babak Parviz, a former Google executive who led the development of the company’s Glass wearable gadget. Several weeks ago Mr. Parviz was replaced from his position at Google, but remained at the company. Apparently, Amazon has offered the executive better opportunities than his former employee. Potentially, Mr. Parviz could lead development of smart eyewear at Amazon.

“The primary reason for the move is being excited about what we might accomplish at Amazon,” said Mr. Parviz in a conversation with Cnet News.

Babak Parviz was a Google employee since 2010. He led the development of Google Glass for several years and was also behind the glucose-tracking contact lens project. Mr. Parviz has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, but it is highly unlikely that Amazon hired a person of this calibre to become a yet another engineer at the company. It is logical to expect that the executive will continue to work on wearable electronics.


Amazon has been gradually adding hardware into its lineup of products. The company has Lab 126 division which secretly develops various innovative devices. So far Amazon has developed a family of e-book readers, numerous media tablets, a set-top-box and a smartphone. Theoretically, the company could design a smart eyewear as well.

Google Glass-like device from Amazon could revolutionize shopping and make retail stores nearly obsolete. Amazon’s Fire smartphone already features Firefly technology that automatically recognizes web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, plus over 100 million items, including movies, TV episodes, songs, and products. The Firefly allows one to go to a store, locate a product and then buy it from Amazon. A smart eyewear with Firefly could allow to do it much easier. What remains to be seen is whether this will also allow to recognize “products” already used or worn by people, something, which could spark a lot of ethics-related debates.

Amazon has confirmed that it had hired Mr. Parviz, but did not reveal what he is going to do at the company.

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KitGuru Says: Wearable electronics should help Amazon to grow its business since eventually it should help people to buy things they see in everyday life. While the idea is good, it will probably not be supported by retail stores, moreover, far not all customers would like to do shopping every day for prolonged periods of time.

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  • Peter Cao

    Regarding to a recent article on BusinessInsider — “The Inventor Of Google Glass Says It Could Outsource Our Brains” —

    — Sebastian Thrun is not the Google Glass Inventor; Here is a comment from an insider (not me) about Sebastian Thrun and the google glass technology which Thrun claimed to be its inventor


    Thrun is shamelessly taking credit for work done by others. In Germany, his native country, prof. Dickmanns already had fully autonomous, fast, self-driving cars (160km/h) in traffic in 1995, long before anybody else, and 10 years before Thrun’s team joined the fray by participating in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge for self-driving cars. And the DARPA objectives were not that hard to achieve, as quite a few teams were able to reach the goal. One of them was a financial services company that had never dabbled in robotics before. All of this is easy to verify. Or take the online courses of Udacity. In Germany, prof. Loviscach started online university lectures back in 2009, and got millions of clicks long before Thrun jumped on the train 3 years later. The award-winning prof. Vornberger published his popular videos already in 2002, even before the Khan Academy, currently the most visible mass education outfit. (Germany has a long tradition of distance teaching – Univ. Hagen with over 80,000 remote students has specialized on this for decades.) Even at Stanford, Thrun was not the first. His colleague prof. Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera, got hundreds of thousands of viewers for his youtube machine learning course, long before Thrun followed suit and put his own lecture online. Or take Google Glass. No wonder that prof. Babak Parviz, its creator, got miffed when Thrun started taking credit for that as well. More examples from Academia could be listed. If there is one recurring theme in Thrun’s carreer, it’s his (more or less subtle) attempts at festooning himself with achievements of others.

  • Peter Cao

    Thrun was privileged by some tycoons in science field to take credit for works done by others; e.g., the person who had made primary contribution to the self-driving car project which built-up fame for Thrun, is a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, but his name disappeared later on while Thrun takes all the credit for the self-driving car project;

  • Peter Cao

    — Sebastian Thrun had collateralled with a criminal suspect named gabriele scheler in a series of fascism crimes starting from a Stanford campus atrocity case — Stanford police case number: IR #04-111-0335;Victim: Peter Cao; Criminal Suspect: Gabriele Scheler] —http://t.cn/SXQ6Rj — attention to the 7 photo evidence to see how cruel people from this fascism circle are —, which led to the tragic death of an innocent Asian Stanford student, Thrun is not innocent in an unsuccessful plotted murder on me either and I have been cursed by fascism powers from Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler’s side for many years.

    — There is actually a war between fascism and anti-fascism, at this stage, fascism still prevails in our lives; Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler are just front figures we could see in a fascism circle, there is a whole pack of fascists behind them to cover up their crimes and to retaliate on victims

  • Peter Cao

    Answer to nontraditional001′s comment — “you might have a stronger argument if your cut back on the crazy” — from http://t.cn/RvFierc

    Dear nontraditional001,

    Appreciate that you’ve found some crazy issue here and thank you for your opinion;

    It is a tough task to challenge those fascists, which might make it look crazy;

    However, wouldn’t one agree that those bloody stripes on my legs in those 7 photo evidence are out of a crazy crime scene —http://t.cn/SXQ6Rj — a harsh reality?

    Also, such a simple campus atrocity case with clear evidence and serious police investigation had been purposefully mystified later on, in favor of this criminal suspect Gabriele Scheler, by some judicial officers (namely ZZZ/YYY/VVV, etc.) who hided their identities from me for over 10 years, and this case had therefore induced more and more retaliatory fascism crimes; though I am a victim, my life has been underhandedly cursed by fascism powers behind Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler for these many years — what’s really going on here? — isn’t this fact much crazier?

    — One may find those things in my statements crazy to learn, but they are no more than facts; I am not the one who did crazy things, those fascists behind Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler did;

  • Peter Cao

    Answer to nontraditional001′s comment — “not convincing at all”—from http://t.cn/RvFierc


    Dear Sir/Ms nontraditional001,

    Well, I bet there is at least a convincing police case number to start with:[Stanford police case number: IR #04-111-0335;Victim: Peter Cao; Criminal Suspect: Gabriele Scheler] — do you have any problem with that? Would you dare deny the brutality from Gabriele Scheler on my body as evidenced in those 7 photos?—http://t.cn/SXQ6Rj —

    If you want to have some credibility here, please show us your real identity in the first place;

    We are all made of human beings; you have your judgement, and we all have our own; Anybody with normal intelligence could easily figure out that there is something seriously wrong going on in this case; Would you be specific which part in my argument is ‘not convincing at all’? on what identity do you speak, after all?

    Your personal opinion out of a simple and arrogant argument of ‘not convincing at all’, under an insincerely disguised user name, are problems that make yourself ‘not convincing’ to anyone ‘at all’;

    — Would you please show us your real identity? I am eager to learn;