Google Is Working on an AR Headset (And It’s Not a Pair of Glasses)

Google Is Working on an AR Headset (And It’s Not a Pair of Glasses)

Will Project Iris look like Google’s Daydream VR headset? Google

It’s been nearly a decade since Google Glass originally launched, and since then, Google has slowly prepared itself for a sequel. Not only did Google purchase North, a smart glasses company, but it began recruiting developers for a new augmented reality OS late last year. And now, a new report suggests that Google will launch an AR headset in 2024.

Citing internal sources, The Verge states that Google is developing an AR headset (not glasses) called Project Iris. Unlike smart glasses, this headset has a proper display and pulls in video using outward-facing cameras. It also runs on an internal battery, eliminating the need for external power, and likely runs on Tensor or another Google-made processor.

Using cameras to show users an internal video feed should provide an immersive “mixed reality” experience. It should also help Google avoid the expensive, lackluster graphics technology that it uses in Google Glass, which is still available as an enterprise product. (More advanced glasses graphics solutions from companies like Xiaomi are still quite limited, especially in terms of color.)

And yes, immersive graphics seem to be the big idea here. Instead of relying on an internal processor to handle graphics, Project Iris reportedly taps into the cloud. This may be a battery-saving feature, though it seems that Google wants to tap into its Stadia cloud gaming infrastructure to make the Project Iris experience graphically impressive. Doing so could make up for the awkward ski goggle form factor.

Here’s something weird—Google could launch the Project Iris headset alongside its Project Starline “3D window.” As you may remember, Project Starline is a large, camera-equipped video conferencing screen that perfectly recreates the feeling of sitting across from another person. At least, that’s how people described it after giving it a try.

While I sincerely doubt that Google will bring the “Google Glass” branding back to life, the company’s planned 2024 is quite significant. Google Glass launched in 2014, so once 2024 comes around, we’ll be celebrating the Glasshole’s 10th anniversary.

Just bear in mind that these leaks and rumors may not pan out. While we know that Google is working on future AR products (its job listings say so), there’s no guarantee that Project Iris will ever come to fruition, or that it even exists, for that matter.

Source: The Verge


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