Google shakes up hardware teams, shifts focus from solo AR to partnerships

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Google announced a reorganization of its Devices & Services division, overseeing Pixel phones, Nest smart home devices, and Fitbit wearables.

Previously, distinct teams managed each product line’s design, engineering, software, and UI. The new structure implements a functional organization model, with consolidated teams responsible for each function across all hardware products. This approach, similar to Apple’s, aims to share resources and expertise more effectively.

As part of the restructuring, some leadership positions will change hands. Notably, Fitbit co-founders James Park, Eric Friedman, and other key Fitbit leaders will leave Google. This follows Google’s acquisition of Fitbit in 2021.

One key strategic shift lies in Google’s decision to move away from developing its own AR hardware. Instead, the company will focus on forging partnerships with other manufacturers, such as the Android XR collaboration with Samsung for headset development. Existing AR features within Google Lens and Maps will continue, highlighting Google’s commitment to AR technology.

Here is Google’s statement:

A few hundred roles are being eliminated in DSPA, with the majority of impacts on the 1P AR Hardware team. While we are making changes to our 1P AR hardware team, Google continues to be deeply committed to other AR initiatives, such as AR experiences in our products and product partnerships.

Overall, it signifies the company’s interest in gaining a foothold in the emerging AR market through strategic partnerships. The effectiveness of this new approach remains to be seen. Still, it definitely demonstrates Google’s willingness to adapt its hardware strategy.

More here by 9to5Google.

More about the topics: ar, google