We sometimes forget that Google was already making augmented reality glasses 10 years ago. Indeed, it was in 2012 that the firm unveiled the Google Glass. At the time these glasses were considered a revolutionary product.
However, after a presentation with great fanfare, these Google AR glasses seem to have been relegated to the background. And while the project has always existed, it was targeted more at businesses than the consumer market.
Today, augmented reality is of growing interest to other digital giants. Meta has already announced that it is working on augmented reality glasses, and currently Mark Zuckerberg’s company is preparing the launch of a helmet, called Cambria, which will combine augmented reality and virtual reality. As for Apple, it could release a similar helmet at the end of the year, or in 2023.
Microsoft has also developed its Hololens glasses. And recently, we discovered that even Amazon could release augmented reality headsets or glasses.
Google I/O: the Mountain View company gives a preview of its new augmented reality glasses
To close the launch keynote of its annual I/O conference, Google has decided to give a preview of the new glasses it is working on. The firm shared a demo video, showing how augmented reality glasses could, for example, offer instant translation functionality to the user.
Unfortunately, Google does not say more about the prototypes it is working on. But the fact that these glasses appeared at the I / O conference signals that Google has not forgotten its work in augmented reality, at a time when its competitors are also advancing their pawns.
If AR glasses are of such interest to digital giants, it is because according to certain predictions, this type of product could replace smartphones within a few years. In addition, as far as Google is concerned, we recently discovered that the firm could be beefing up its team dedicated to augmented reality.
During the I/O conference, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, also recalled the various advances of the firm with regard to this technology. There is Google Glass, which makes Google one of the pioneers in the field, but there is also AR Core. It’s the technology on Android that allows developers to bring augmented reality features to mobile. Google has also developed Lens, an AR-based app that serves as a visual search engine.
Google does not talk about metaverses
The choice of the demonstration made by Google during the I / O conference could also be an indicator of the direction that the AR projects of the firm will take. Indeed, while other groups rely on 3D effects or the metaverse, Google has instead chosen to demonstrate a practical functionality in everyday life.
Moreover, by emphasizing the “real world” during his speech, Pichai may have wanted to subtly criticize the metaverse projects of Meta (Facebook) which want to take users into a virtual universe. Pichai particularly stressed the importance of the fact that Google designs its products for the real world, but not to take the user out of it.
Unfortunately, we do not yet know when Google will release this new generation of augmented reality glasses which, this time, should target a little more of the general public. Meanwhile, during its I/O conference, Google unveiled new products, including the Pixel 6a smartphone and the Pixel Watch. The firm even took the opportunity to give us a first glimpse of its Pixel 7 smartphone.