google ar project iris

Unlike with generative AI where Google rushed to release a ChatGPT competitor, Google has reportedly killed its AR headset project, codenamed Project Iris just after Apple announced the Apple Vision Pro. The project was reportedly in development for several years, but it was ultimately deemed not feasible to continue.

According to a report from The Information, Google’s AR headset was designed to be a high-end device that would compete with products from Meta and Apple. The headset would have featured a high-resolution display and a powerful processor, and it would have been capable of running AR applications that were more complex than those that are currently available, it was rumored to ship in 2024.

The Verge reported that the Google AR device used outward-facing cameras to blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world, creating a more immersive, mixed-reality experience. “Early prototypes being developed at a facility in the San Francisco Bay Area resemble a pair of ski goggles and don’t require a tethered connection to an external power source.”

However, the report says that Google struggled to develop a headset that was both affordable and powerful enough to meet its goals. The company also reportedly encountered difficulty in developing software for the headset that would be both user-friendly and visually appealing.

The insider also reports that Project Iris was plagued by layoffs and shifting strategies during its development.

As a result, Google decided to kill Project Iris. The company is reportedly still interested in developing AR technology, but it is now focusing on other projects, such as its ARCore software platform.

What Next After Project Iris?

The decision to kill Project Iris is a setback for Google’s efforts to compete in the AR market. However, it is not necessarily a sign that Google is giving up on AR altogether. The company may simply be taking a different approach to AR development, one that focuses on more affordable and accessible devices.

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Google, Samsung, and Qualcomm recently made an incredibly vague announcement about how the three companies were partnering together on a new mixed reality platform, which means while Google may have given up on their own headset they might be partnering to create the upcoming Samsung headset.

The company is also reportedly still interested in developing AR technology, but it is now focusing on other projects, such as its ARCore software platform and its Project Starline video chat technology.

 “Google has focused on creating software platforms for AR that it hopes to license to other manufacturers building headsets.”

Google is also allegedly putting more focus on AR software. Micro XR is a platform that is being developed by Google to enable augmented reality (AR) experiences on small devices, such as smartphones and smart glasses. Just like Android and Wear OS, the platform is designed to be lightweight and efficient so that it can run on other manufacturer devices with limited processing power.

Micro XR uses a number of techniques to achieve its lightweight design. For example, it uses a simplified rendering pipeline that only renders the parts of the scene that are visible to the user. It also uses a number of compression techniques to reduce the size of the AR data that needs to be transmitted to the device.

It is also worth noting that Google is not the only company that has struggled to develop a successful AR headset. Meta, for example, has also faced challenges in bringing its AR glasses to market. This suggests that AR technology is still in its early stages of development and that it may take some time before AR headsets become widely available.

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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