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Apple Glasses effect? Google may be working on own AR smart glasses

Apple Glasses effect? Google may be working on own AR smart glasses

Google may be working on a next-generation set of glasses that will support augmented reality, only to counter the rumoured Apple Glasses expected in 2022.

Representational image of Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 Representational image of Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2
Story highlights
  • Google may be working on a new AR smart glasses project.
  • Google has not confirmed anything and so we do not know when the glasses will come out.
  • Rivals Apple and Meta are already said to be working on their AR devices.

Apple is making some serious inroads in establishing itself as an AR company by reportedly hiring key people from Meta. But while the first implementation of Apple's AR technology is expected sometime in 2022 in the form of AR Glasses, Google is upping the ante with its new project. According to a report, Google is working on a new set of smart glasses that will work using augmented reality.

The New York Times has reported that Google is "nurturing a new project", which is AR-based smart glasses. The project may have begun after Google's last year acquisition of North, a company dealing in human computer interfaces and smart glasses. While North had to pull its Focals 1.0 glasses from the market and cancel the Focal 2.0 glasses before the acquisition, the engineers who worked on them enthusiastically joined Google to work on Pixel, Nest, and other hardware.

NYT's report favours the formation of a division focused on Augmented Reality OS under Devices & Services that Google confirmed recently. The company posted a job listing that said this division is building "the software components that control and manage the hardware on [its] Augmented Reality (AR) products." Besides, at the Google IO 2021, Clay Bavor, VP, Virtual and Augmented Reality at Google, said the company will be focused on deep R&D going forward.

Besides, Google already has the most experience in the wearables market. Google introduced Google Glass first in 2013 to bring the smartphone-like interface right in front of the user's eyes via glasses. Although being a limited product, Google Glass earned a name in the wearable market, but the company discontinued the consumer version because of heavy criticism, while the enterprise versions continued to sell.

The biggest difference between Google Glass and the reported ones will be the support for augmented reality. AR is what will let users interact with real-world objects and humans using computer software. But currently, it is not clear if Google will go for a stopgap headset, which may rely on AR less and VR more, or if it will take its sweet time and build full-scale functional smart glasses to counter the competition.

While Apple Glasses are likely to come next year, Meta is also working on its AR glasses under Project Cambria, which is expected to fructify sometime next year. Meta already sells Ray Ban Stories but it is not entirely dependent on AR as it uses camera feeds to let users interact with the technology.