updated 02:12 pm EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Former researcher previously led Google Glass and Google Contact Lenses teams
What started with a social media message turned into confirmation that Amazon has made a high-profile hire. Babak Parviz, formerly of Google as part of their Google X division, has been hired into an unspecified role with the Internet retailer. Parviz's replacement as the Google Glass lead was announced in May as Ivy Ross.
After making a post on Google+ that he was "super excited" to go along with Amazon's logo Saturday, Parviz updated his about page to give better context to what he meant in the post. He talks about his founding and leading efforts at Google, including Google Glass and Google Contact Lenses, prior to moving to Amazon.
Parviz confirmed the move to CNet. "The primary reason for the move is being excited about what we might accomplish at Amazon," he told the publication via email.
Since Parviz's work revolves around the research of optical technologies, it's expected that he'll have a hand in development of hardware at Amazon. While it's unknown what it could be at this time, but recent hardware announcements from Amazon could lend a clue. Cameras, 3D and other optical technologies are already involved in the Fire Phone, so it's possible Parviz could be directly involved in furthering those technologies.
Parviz also throws a bone to those interested in unannounced Google X projects, as he states Google Glass and Google Contact Lenses are the only publicly-known projects he worked on with during his time at Google. Parviz was previously an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, where he would first discover a way to include circuits in contact lenses.
The hint that he had an involvement in other Google X projects could hold some truth. Of the eight active projects, according to Sergey Brin, only six are known to the public. Of those, Google Glass and Google Contact Lenses are known to have had a helping hand from Parviz. Project Loon, wind energy research, driverless cars and research into neural networks and machine learning have had some details released or leaked so far. However, as with all Google X projects outside of Google Glass, the company keeps a tight lid on the details.