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Google Abandons In-house Development of Augmented Reality Glasses

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Google Augmented Reality Glasses

Google has halted an internal project, termed “Iris”, that was aimed at the creation of augmented reality glasses, Business Insider reported. Although the technology giant dedicated several years to the development of these glasses, it has ostensibly shelved the Iris project in the wake of a series of layoffs and company-wide restructuring over recent months. The decision was influenced in part by Clay Bavor, the former head of augmented and virtual reality at Google, leaving the company to co-found a startup with Salesforce’s co-CEO Bret Taylor. Moreover, consistent changes in Google’s approach to the Iris glasses reportedly led to team members expressing frustration.

In early 2022, The Verge speculated that Google might release the Iris augmented reality glasses by 2024. The Iris AR glasses were intended to mimic regular eyewear, with an early version allegedly resembling a product named “Focals” by North, a Canadian startup Google had purchased in 2020. Google had also showcased a recent version in a video, demonstrating a live AR translation feature.

Although the firm has ceased its independent AR hardware efforts, according to Business Insider, Google continues to harbor grand ambitions in the augmented reality sphere. Rather than producing its own hardware, Google has seemingly shifted its focus towards crafting an “Android for AR”. The company plans to emulate its existing mobile platform business model by licensing its AR software to manufacturers. Currently, Google is engaged in the development of Android XR for Samsung’s “extended reality” wearable devices and, as per Insider, is working on a new platform named “micro XR” for glasses.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Google Augmented Reality Glasses

What project has Google recently halted?

Google has recently halted “Iris”, an internal project aimed at the development of augmented reality glasses.

What influenced Google’s decision to stop the development of the AR glasses?

Several factors influenced Google’s decision, including waves of layoffs, company reshuffles, the departure of Clay Bavor, the company’s former chief of augmented and virtual reality, and frequent strategy changes that caused frustration among team members.

What were the Iris augmented reality glasses supposed to look like?

The Iris augmented reality glasses were designed to look like a pair of ordinary glasses, with an early version resembling a product called “Focals” by North, a startup that Google had acquired.

What is Google’s new focus in the realm of augmented reality?

Instead of building its own AR hardware, Google has shifted focus to creating an “Android for AR”. The company plans to license its AR software to manufacturers, similar to its current mobile platform business model.

What is Google currently developing in terms of AR technology?

Google is currently developing Android XR for Samsung’s “extended reality” wearable devices and a new platform called “micro XR” for glasses.

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