We know Google wants to make Glass a mainstream product, and while we're still not sure if consumers will buy into the company's vision of the future, Google is taking steps to make it a reality. Today, Taiwanese chipmaker Himax Technologies announced that Google will acquire a 6.3 percent stake in its subsidiary, Himax Display Inc — a unit that manufacturers technologies used in Google Glass's head mounted display. In a press release, Himax says that the purpose of the investment is to "expand capacity and further enhance production capabilities," or in other words, to get the assembly lines ready for ramped up Glass production.
Google has yet to provide a solid timeframe for mass production and release of Glass, but in April this year, executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that a product for consumers is "probably a year-ish away." While many details are still unknown, we do know that Google reportedly plans to manufacture Glass at a Foxconn plant in Santa Clara, California, which would make Glass the second Google product to be manufactured on US soil following the Nexus Q media streamer.
"We are delighted to receive this investment and to form a strategic partnership with Google," Himax president and CEO Jordan Wu said of the deal announced today, expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Google confirmed the investment in an email to The Verge. "Himax Display has been a great partner for several years now," a Google spokesperson said. "This investment is an extension of this partnership, which we hope will allow the team to continue to develop their operations."