News sources have announced the possibility of releasing an augmented reality headset by 2024 by Google
Like the Meta and Apple headsets, the Google device apparently uses outward-facing cameras to combine computer graphics with The video background uses the real world and provides users with an immersive mixed reality experience compared to augmented reality glasses such as Snap and Magic Leap. Prototypes of the Google headset, produced in a facility in the San Francisco Bay Area, resemble ski goggles and work without the need to connect an external power source.
Of course, the Google headset is still in the early stages of development, and a clear strategy for its entry into the market has not been proposed. Therefore, the goal of launching it in 2024 seems ambitious. Google’s augmented reality hardware is similar to the latest Pixel smartphones, the Pixel 6 series. It uses a new and different processor and will be equipped with Android operating system. However, new hires at Google indicate the possibility of designing a separate and unique operating system. Due to energy constraints, Google’s strategy is to use its data centers to render some required graphics remotely and send it to the headset via an Internet connection. According to rumors, the Pixel team has been involved in the design of some hardware parts, but it is not yet clear whether this headset will finally bear the Pixel trademark.
The Iris project is a return to the field of hardware production in which Google has a long and volatile history. The segment began with the much-hyped but unsuccessful Google Glass product in 2012, and quietly ended in 2019 after a multi-year effort to sell its virtual reality headsets. Since then, Google has kept quiet about its hardware plans, particularly in this area, focusing on software features like Lens, a visual search engine, and augmented reality-based navigation in Google Maps. Meanwhile, competitors such as Zuckerberg have mainly focused on the production of AR and VR products, and by hiring thousands of people, they have even changed the name of their company from Facebook to Meta, in line with the macro strategy; A name change that reveals the prospect of being in the Metaverse realm. Of course, Facebook is not alone in this direction, but Apple has also put the production of a mixed reality headset on its agenda, probably by the end of this year.
According to The Verge, Project Iris Until now, it has been kept as a confidential secret in Google and its design and development stages are taking place in a building that requires a special card and signing of non-disclosure agreements to access it. The core team working on the design and development of the headset includes approximately 300 people, and Google plans to hire hundreds more along the way. The executive director overseeing the process of this project, Clay Bavor, reports directly to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, and another important project of the American company, Starline, is also under his management; A project that is an ultra-high definition video chat platform that was unveiled last year.
People who have had the chance to try Starline have found it to be one of the most impressive demos of the technology, which creates a 3D model of the people in the chat. In a tracking test conducted on the eyes of employees using this service, Google found that the use of Starline, compared to a normal video call, resulted in approximately 15% more focus on the person on the other side of the conversation, and the recall of the details of the discussion compared to the mode Common will be about 30% better.
Hearsay suggests that Google hopes to launch Iris hardware along with Starline by 2024. In this regard, in a previously unannounced move, Magic Leap CTO Paul Greco has been added to the product development team and a pilot program to use Starline and facilitate remote meetings with various companies present. Running on the Fortune 500 list. Google also plans to implement Starline as part of its work strategy (combination of telecommuting and office work) after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the aim of reducing the cost per unit. Of course, there is a possibility that Google has planned optimistically for both products in their desired timing and their release will finally be later than 2024.
Kelly Beaver has been in charge of Google’s AR and VR development program for many years. A program that dates back to products such as Google Cardboard and Daydream, which were released as two hardware and software platforms almost at the same time as the Oculus headset. He is a close friend of Pichai, who has been working at Google since 2005 and was appointed vice president of Google Labs last November. In this way, Beaver is currently responsible for Starline, Iris, the new blockchain sector and Area 120 projects.
Also, other senior managers working in the Iris development project include Shahram Ezadi Senior Director of Engineering and Director of Google’s ARCode software package, Eddie Chung, Senior Director of Product Management who previously led Google Lens, Scott Huffman, Vice President and creator of Google Assistant, Kurt Akeley. The prominent engineer and chief technology officer at the Lytro startup active in the field of light-field digital camera production and Mark Lucovsky, the senior manager of Google’s operating system for augmented reality, who until recently held a similar responsibility at Meta He pointed out.
The interest of Google senior managers in augmented reality goes back to the time of the release of Google glasses and investment in Magic Leap. Rumors at the time suggested that Magic Leap’s investment was aimed at buying the company outright, if it found a suitable path to the mass market of augmented reality hardware. In 2020, Google also acquired the Canadian startup North active in the field of smart glasses, which was working on adapting augmented reality technology in the form of glasses with a normal appearance. Since then, most of North’s members are still working at Google. In addition, many job advertisements related to waveguide technology have been published recently, which shows the possibility of Google working on another device in Canada. Of course, Google has refused to comment on this matter. Wavelength technology is a display technology that is very suitable for use in augmented reality glasses. Sundar Pichai said at the company’s financial statement review meeting last October about the company’s projects and attention to augmented reality: “We are currently We are thinking through augmented reality and this will be the main area of Google’s investment. The American super company certainly has the necessary capital to finance its ambitious ideas, along with superior technical talent, a strong Android software ecosystem, and acceptable products in the field of augmented reality glasses such as Google Lens. But it is not yet clear whether the company’s investment in this field will be huge and similar to Meta or will be limited to smaller amounts. The company under the management of Zuckerberg currently spends 10 billion dollars annually in the field of augmented and virtual reality. In addition, Google’s other competitor, Apple, has also devoted thousands of dollars to the development of its augmented reality headsets and glasses. Therefore, in order to stay in this competition, Google has to spend more effort and be more serious in order to present new innovations.