Liron Damir, Pebble’s former VP of design and one of the leaders behind creating webOS for HP and LG, is heading to Google to serve as the new head of UX for Google Home, via Variety. Per Damir’s announcement on LinkedIn, he’ll be “lead[ing] the design of Google Home products,” in his new role at the company.
Damir leaves his position at Andy Rubin’s Essential, where he had served as head of UX for the startup’s upcoming phone (and presumably, Essential’s Ambient OS project). Between his previous experience developing webOS for TVs, his time at Pebble, and his work at Essential, Damir’s hire makes sense for Google, especially as the company begins to build out more visual user experience interactions with Home.
On the flip side of things, it’s hard to see this as good news for Essential, which just lost a crucial part of its design team before it managed to launch either the Essential Phone or the Ambient OS-running smart speaker.
At Google I/O this year, Google showed off how a connected Chromecast could be used as a visual screen for displaying relevant information from a Google Home, and with the launch of Amazon’s Echo Show, it’s easy to imagine that Google could be looking for further opportunities to build out an ecosystem of more interactive Home products.