Google was one of the first big tech companies to make a play for the augmented reality space with the launch of Google Glass nearly a decade ago. But Glass never made much of a splash in the consumer space, and is now strictly an enterprise product.
But now that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets are hot again, rumor has it that Google plans to give it another try: The Verge reports that Google is developing an AR headset that could launch as soon as 2024, although many details are still up in the air.
The news comes shortly after Facebook changed its parent company’s name to Meta in an attempt to either put itself at the front of the Metaverse revolution or to actually make the Metaverse happen in the first place, depending on who you ask. Right now Meta’s biggest success is probably the acquisition of Oculus, which has made out some of the most popular VR headsets in recent years.
Meanwhile other companies, including Apple, are also said to be working on their own VR and/or AR headsets.
According to The Verge, Google’s version is expected to use front-facing cameras and a built-in display to blend virtual graphics with your real-world view. The headset is expected to feature a custom Google-designed processor (much like the company’s Pixel 6 smartphones), while offloading some processing to cloud servers in an attempt to keep the headset itself low-power and lightweight.
Current prototypes are said to use an Android-based operating system, but future versions could use a custom OS. And while The Verge’s sources say some of the folks working on the headset come from Google’s Pixel team, it’s unclear if the final product will have the Pixel name.
For now, the headset is code-named “Project Iris,” and the only information we have about it comes from leaks. So even if The Verge’s report is accurate, there’s still plenty of time for things to change before Google is ready to launch a new headset… if it ever does.