Google is building an augmented reality headset, reports claim

The Independent
The Independent

Google is building an augmented reality headset called Project Iris that could ship in 2024.

The device will use outward-facing cameras to overlay computer graphics onto the real world, and apparently work on battery power.

The headset would be powered by a custom Google processor and run Android, although it is possible it could also use an as-yet undeveloped operating system, according to a report from The Verge . Members of Google’s Pixel team are reportedly working on the hardware, but it is not yet known if it will be Pixel-branded like its smartphones.

The core team working on the headset is made of around 300 people, but Google apparently plans to hire hundreds more.

In June 2020, Google purchased smart-glasses company North , and said it would be using its technology to “invest in our hardware efforts and ambient computing future.”

According to The Verge, many of the North team still work at Google, but it is unclear whether they are involved in the development of Project Iris.

Last October, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said that the company was “thinking through” augmented reality and that the topic was a “major area of investment”. Google did not provide comment to The Independent before time of publication.

Google has previously attempted to build augmented glasses before, but Google Glass was infamously ridiculed for its appearance as well as privacy concerns about the data captured by wearers using its 720p camera.

Google started selling the prototype of the technology in 2013, but by 2015 it was discontinued for public use. Google still has an Enterprise Edition of the product which it released in 2019; it is currently unclear what market this new augmented reality device could be aimed at.

As well as Google, Meta is also working on augmented reality glasses as well as haptic gloves and wristbands that could help control them.

“All-day wearable AR glasses require a new paradigm because they will be able to function in every situation you encounter in the course of a day”, the social media giant wrote in a blog post last March.

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