Thursday, September 21, 2023
HomeTechnologyGoogle has reportedly discontinued its Project Iris augmented reality glasses

Google has reportedly discontinued its Project Iris augmented reality glasses

Last January, we revealed that Google was also working on an AR headset — “Project Iris” would be the company’s bet on a then-unannounced headset from Meta and Apple. But now, its competitor has come to light, and Google is reportedly killing glasses-shaped AR: Insider Google has shelved its Project Iris plans, reports three people familiar with the matter Say: For this matter.

Remember those fancy translation glasses (we called them Vaporware) that Google introduced at Google I/O last year? If this report is true, it means that these glasses will no longer exist. It may also mean that a version with transcription and navigation features (which Google said would begin public beta testing last July) will also no longer be in development.

According to the publication, Google is now focusing on software rather than hardware. It is building a “micro XR” platform that can be licensed to other headset makers in the same way Google provides Android for the broad phone ecosystem.

Qualcomm president and CEO Cristiano Amon, Samsung’s TM Roh, and Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer discuss XR on stage in February 2023.

Qualcomm Company President & CEO Cristiano Amon, Samsung’s TM Roh and Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer discuss XR on stage in February 2023.

Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

However, insiders suggested that the ski goggle-like headsets we originally mentioned might actually still exist—because Google no longer creates them itself. In February, Google, Samsung, and Qualcomm discussed how the three companies Incredibly vague announcements were made about working together on a new mixed reality platform, and while we haven’t heard anything meaningful since then, Insider sources say Google’s defenders The eyepiece is “actually the basis for an upcoming Samsung headset.”

This isn’t the first project where Samsung and Google have teamed up to produce a cutting-edge device that Google wasn’t ready to develop itself. Before launching its own Pixel Fold this summer, Google was working on revamping Android to support the Galaxy Fold line of foldable phones.

Initially, we reported that Google wanted to launch an AR headset in 2024. On At Google I/O 2023 in June, Google Vice President Sameer Samat said the company would “share more later this year” about its partnership with Samsung.

Insider reports that Project Iris has been plagued by layoffs and strategy shifts along the way, with Google VR/AR chief Clay Bavor apparently leaving the company. company four months ago. Kurt Akeley, a distinguished engineer who worked on the project, is now listed as “retired” on his LinkedIn page, we reported. Two others are still listed as AR-related companies, including Mark Lucovsky, the company’s senior director of AR operating systems.

Google acquired AR glasses company North in 2020 for an undisclosed amount. Many North employees, including co-founders Stephen Lake, Matthew Bailey, and Aaron Grant, still work at Google today, according to a quick LinkedIn spot check.

UPDATE, 7:49PM ET: Added North’s co-founders appear to still be working at Google.



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