n a significant blow to Google's hardware division, the company has confirmed layoffs affecting hundreds of workers, particularly within its augmented reality (AR) segment. Alongside this development, notable figures from Fitbit, including co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman, are reportedly departing.

Google's Layoffs Unveiled

Confirming recent speculations, Google has officially announced layoffs, impacting around a thousand positions. The bulk of these cuts, reportedly, are concentrated in the 1P AR Hardware team.

Fitbit Leaders Part Ways

Adding to the shake-up, key figures from Fitbit, including co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman, are set to leave the company. This move raises questions about the future of Fitbit, acquired by Google for $2.1 billion in 2019.

Fitbit's Uncertain Future

The departure of Fitbit leaders and the broader layoffs suggest a potential transformation for Fitbit. Amid concerns about the neglect of Fitbit's features and services, there are speculations that this might mark the end of Fitbit as we know it.

Google's Commitment Amidst Changes

Google, however, asserts its ongoing commitment to Fitbit users. The spokesperson highlighted the dedication to innovation in the health space, citing developments like the Pixel Watch, redesigned Fitbit app, Fitbit Premium service, and the Fitbit tracker line.

Challenges in AR Endeavours

Google's AR efforts have been under scrutiny, particularly after the departure of key figures like Clay Bavor and Mark Lucovsky. The reported abandonment of Project Iris, the AR glasses initiative, and challenges in partnerships with Samsung and Qualcomm add uncertainty to Google's AR pursuits.

Fading AR Ambitions

The departure of key personnel and the strategic shift away from developing its own AR glasses indicate Google's reevaluation of its AR ambitions. Despite public collaborations with Samsung and Qualcomm, setbacks in partnerships and the absence of Project Iris signal a potential scaling back in AR hardware ventures.


Google's recent layoffs, coupled with the exit of Fitbit leaders, reflect a significant reorganisation within the company's hardware division. As the tech giant navigates these changes, questions loom over the future of both its AR initiatives and the Fitbit brand.

Jan 12, 2024
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