Google has reportedly bought a number of display patents from Hon Hai—better known as Foxconn. The deal looks like a direct move against Apple, which has a close working relationship with the Chinese manufacturer. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, the newly acquired patents relate to head mounted technology in line with Google Glass, suggesting the search giant is protecting its own interests rather than going after its rival in this instance.
Foxconn declined to say exactly which patents it sold to Google or how much the search giant paid, only revealing that one related directly to augmented reality, specifically the ability to superimpose a virtual image on a person’s regular “world view.” It’s unclear if this is a technology similar to the HUD display used in Google Glass, or a true augmented reality design.
Foxconn’s decision to cut a deal with Google doesn’t come as a total surprise either. The Chinese company may have a close working relationship with Apple, but it’s also publicly made efforts to widen its focus, working with a number of companies and even developing its own smartwatch.