Not only Apple, Google also makes its own AR viewer (Project Iris)

With me google glasses, Big G was one of the first companies to firmly believe in augmented reality. Of course, he may have done it too soon, and Google Glasses – despite being a very interesting project – turned out to be a flop. Google’s interest in the tech certainly hasn’t waned, though, and it looks like the company at the end of 2021 was working on a Augmented reality operating system to be installed on an “innovative AR device”.

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And that device could be coming soon. Citing sources familiar with Google’s plans, The edge spilled some details on what is called internally Project Iris. The Big G would work on a viewer that will enhance the input video, recorded by the various cameras located on the external body, by inserting additional details. The viewer will not be shaped like glasses, as was the case with Google Glass, but it will look more like a ski mask with the user seeing through an internally installed screen. In addition, there will be no need for a cable to connect to an external device, but the power supply can be carried out via a built-in battery.

Google is preparing an AR reality viewer

A custom google processor, likely based on the built-in Tensor on the new Pixel 6, will be delegated to handle viewer functions, with Google itself having said in the past how Tensor is “the perfect foundation on which to base the evolution of reality augmented”. As far as we know today, however, some of the features will be processed and rendered in the cloud, and only then transmitted to the viewer. A solution that Google is developing to increase energy efficiency and address known limitations due to battery power.

Project Iris will use the Android operating system, probably very customized to meet the needs of augmented reality. The viewer is currently slated for release in 2024, but the company has only recently begun ramping up development. To date, no clear definition has been made “marketing strategy” to follow, neither if the Pixel branding will be used, nor if the team behind the Pixel family devices will be involved in development in any way.

Work on the new project is taking place in a separate building in the Bay Area which “requires special key card access and non-disclosure agreements”, confirming the confidentiality that Google wishes to keep on the project. There are currently 300 employees working on Iris, overseen by Clay Bavor (Google Labs), Scott Huffman (formerly technical lead of Google Assistant and also responsible for Google Lens, Lytro and ARCore) and others.

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