Wednesday, September 27

Google prepares new augmented reality glasses: Project Iris is its bet to compete with the ambition of Apple and Meta

Uncles parachuting and broadcasting it all with a weird invention in his eyes. That was Google Glass, a product that showed us the potential of augmented reality and that produced disgust and fascination. Then Daydream (in the image) would also arrive, his bet in the field of virtual reality.

The project ended almost in oblivion, restricted to the business world, but weeks ago rumors of a return to the Google arena arrived. Now there are more clues: Google has Project Iris underway, which aims to develop new augmented reality glasses which will theoretically compete with the efforts of Apple and Meta in this area.

The big ones want us all to wear glasses

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, wants to bet (almost) everything on the metaverse. Apple does not say it, but they are also in it. Microsoft seems a little more timid here but it has its (very expensive) HoloLens and wiggle room. Where is Google?

Well, preparing the play. This is shown by the discovery of Project Iris, a top secret initiative and not officially confirmed that it aims to develop augmented and mixed reality glasses that go beyond what devices such as Snap or Magic Leap offer, for example.

Sources close to the project have revealed in The Verge how those glasses they currently look like ski goggles, and they have a series of cameras that allow you to overlay computer-generated graphics on top of that real-world capture.

Glasses do not need to be connected to a PC or to an external power supply, and in that sense they seem to have a format similar to that of the Oculus Quest 2, for example.

As in this case, the Google model will have its own processor -we will see if the Google Tensors reach these devices-, as well as a battery and other elements that, however, may not work alone: ​​there is talk that power limitations could make it necessary for some of the graphics work is done by servers that “broadcast” those overlay graphics through an internet connection.

It seems unlikely that the company will use the name ‘Google Glass’ for this product, since its devices with this name are still active as an enterprise product. The funny thing is that Google returns to the battle after abandoning, for example, its ambitions in the world of virtual reality with Daydream.

Screenshot 2022 01 21 At 11 00 11

North’s connected glasses technology could play a role in Project Iris.

Leading this initiative is Clay Bavor, personal friend of Sundar Pichai —to whom he reports directly— and who has been working in this field for years: he was one of the leaders in the development of Google CardBoard and Daydream.

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Not only that: Bavor is also responsible for the promising Starline project, for a new division that works on blockchain technology and in an internal project incubator called Area 120.

What seems clear is that Google has been reinforcing its commitment in this area for some time. In the summer of 2021, it acquired North, a Canadian company specializing in connected glasses. Pichai himself told his investors in October that augmented reality was “an important area of ​​investment for us.”

Project Iris is expected to crystallize into augmented reality glasses in 2024, but that date may turn out to be too optimistic. What seems clear is that all the big ones want us to wear glasses in a few years, whether we need them or not.

Via | The Verge