Google buys Foxconn's Hon Hai display patent portfolio

The patents cover head-mounted display technology

Google has bought Foxconn's Hon Hai Precision Industry display patent portfolio as the search company ramps up its development of Google Glass.

Hon Hai, a major supplier for Apple and other top IT brands, sold a portfolio of Head Mounted Display (HMD) patents, the company said in a news release on Friday.

The technology consists of a computer-generated image which is superimposed on a real world view, Hon Hai said. The technique is commonly used in aviation and tactical displays, in gaming and video devices as well as training and simulation tools.

No further details of the deal were provided. A Google spokesman declined to comment on the purchase. Neither Hon Hai nor MiiCs & Partners, which facilitated the sale, immediately responded to requests for comment.

Google has been working on the release of Google Glass, a wearable device with a head-mounted display that currently is only available to developers and hand-picked testers.

Last month, Google invested in a Taiwanese chip maker that manufactures components used in the wearable device. It said it would buy shares to hold a 6.3 percent interest in Himax Display, a subsidiary of Himax Technologies.

The investment is meant to fund production upgrades and expand capacity at Himax, which produces the liquid crystal on silicon chips used in Google Glass.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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