Google Glass, the advanced head-mounted computing project the company is gearing up for a possible launch later this year, will be assembled in the U.S., according to a new report from the Financial Times today. The assembly will take place in a facility located in Santa Clara and managed by partner Hon Hai Precision, also known as Foxconn.
Google is building the first run of its ambitious close to home so that it can be close to the action in order to tweak the process and easily add last-minute fixes into the mix, the FT’s unnamed sources say. Assembly will take place in the U.S., but will use components supplied mostly by partners in Asia. Google has a rather checkered history when it comes to making gadgets close to home, however: its Nexus Q media streaming device was originally touted for its U.S.-based manufacturing, but the project was ultimately shelved without official explanation after it baffled early reviewers.
As of today, Google is notifying the winners of its #IfIHadGlass competition for early access to Project Glass devices, which will give 8,000 lucky people the opportunity to pay Google $1,500 for the device months before it launches to the general public. Production for those devices is said to be ramping up “in the coming weeks” according to the new report, at the facility located near Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters.
The effort to manufacture Glass at home likely has a lot to do with quality control for a product that for now will have an extremely high price tag and an extremely low unit count. But Foxconn has in the recent past talked about plans to expand its U.S. operations, and Apple got a specific callout during this year’s State of the Union address for bringing some Mac production back to U.S. shores, so this could be about more than just wanting to make sure the first production runs go very smoothly.
We’ve reached out to Google for confirmation or additional comment, and will update if they provide a response.