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Google Buys Wearable Tech Patents from Apple Supplier

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Google Buys Wearable Tech Patents from Apple Supplier

Employees work at one of the Foxconn factories in China.

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Google bought patents for wearable computer accessories from Apple's chief assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry.

The patents include those for "head-mounted display technology" for use in both video games and simulated training, according to Bloomberg News. The Taiwan-based Hon Hai reported the news in an email. No financial details were given.

A spokeswoman for Hon Hai told Bloomberg she didn't know if the patents would be used for Google Glass. A Google spokesman said in an e-mail that he didn’t immediately have any information or details on the Hon Hai announcement.

Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, is the primary assembler of Apple's iPhones and iPads. It's also hiring 90,000 workers in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhengzhou to meet fourth-quarter demands. 
 
Does Hon Hai need cash? That seems to be the only sensible reason that the key link in Apple's supply chain would give up a possible lucrative patent for wearable computer accessories. It does seem strange that the company would sell just as wearable tech is becoming competitive, but perhaps Google's offer was too good to refuse. However, will this negotiation with Apple's rival have an effect on its business relationship with Apple? We will be watching to see.

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