Google Glass developer jumping to Amazon

Here’s an interesting move:  Babak Parviz, the pioneering electrical engineer and biomedical research wizard who helped lead the effort to create Google Glass, has apparently jumped ship.

Parviz is joining Amazon, according to The Verge tech blog, which spotted a cryptic announcement on Parviz’s Google + account today.

It’s not clear what he’ll be doing at Amazon, but The Verge speculates Parviz will be working on optical technology and possibly augmented reality. Amazon recently showed off a new Fire Phone that uses sophisticated cameras and sensors to adapt to a user’s perspective and recognize nearby objects.

Parviz is best known for helping to oversee development of Glass through its early days as a project of Google’s moonshot division, known as [x].  He also was one of the scientists who worked on the smart contact lens that Google [x] showed off earlier this year, which is designed to monitor glucose levels in a wearer’s tears – as a less painful alternative to drawing blood, for diabetics who need to check their levels every day.

While his doctorate is in electrical engineering, Parviz did a post-doctoral fellowship focusing on chemistry at Harvard. He recently stepped aside as head of the Glass project, handing over the reins to Ivy Ross, a veteran marketing and design executive, at a time when Google is gearing up to market the computer headset as a mass-market product for consumers.

UPDATE:  Parviz has added this note to his bio on Google+:

“Having worked at companies ranging from tiny start-ups to huge corporations and universities in Europe and the US, I have found each one to be fun in its own unique way. I founded and led a few efforts at Google (among them, Google Glass and Google Contact Lenses are public so far :) prior to moving to Amazon and work on a few other things now…”

(University of Washington photo of Babak Parviz)

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (350 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.