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Amazon hires Google Glass creator

by Mark Tyson on 15 July 2014, 10:40

Tags: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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Babak Parviz, the Google executive and director at Google X who led the development of Glass, has announced that he is departing the Mountain View tech company to work for online retail giant Amazon.com.

The news came just weeks after Parviz stepped away from his post as head of the Glass project. Parviz has led some of Google's most ambitious projects in the Google X department since 2010. Besides Google Glass, he also headed up the effort behind a glucose-tracking contact lens, which was created with a goal to help diabetics to track their blood sugar levels. He left Google on Friday and has confirmed to CNET that he has already begun work at Amazon. "The primary reason for the move is being excited about what we might accomplish at Amazon," Parviz explained to CNET in an email.

The hire comes less than a month after Amazon's launch of its first smartphone, the Fire Phone, which features a unique 3D display UI. Amazon spent around $6.6bn, 9 per cent of its annual revenue on R&D last year, and Forbes points out that the recruitment of Parviz further demonstrates Amazon's dedication to exploring different types of research and development projects. It could also signal that Amazon is considering its own wearable device, which could roll with the momentum created from its streaming TV device, existing line of tablets as well as the new smartphone.

The jump to rival Amazon is likely to further the ongoing poaching dispute between tech giants. Amazon sued Google over a non-compete agreement for a cloud employee, who jumped ship and switched sides, just last week. The lawsuit was filed as Amazon claims that non-compete was violated when the employee started at Google just one month after leaving its employ.

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