Google Cancelled Its ‘Project Iris’ AR Smart Glasses, Will Build AR Technology for OEM Partners: Report

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Google’s Project Iris, the search giant’s multi-year plan to build augmented reality (AR) smart glasses, has been shut down by the company, according to a report. The company was working on developing a pair of AR smart glasses that resembled a pair of spectacles, unlike the Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset that was recently announced by Apple at WWDC 2023. Instead of building a wearable AR device. Google reportedly plans to continue developing AR software and services while OEM partners work on launching AR hardware.

According to a Business Insider report, Google was working for several years on Project Iris, the company’s wearable AR glasses, but the company cancelled the project earlier this year. The search giant cancelled Project Iris following a series of setbacks including job cuts and the departure of its chief of AR and VR, Clay Bavor, as per the report that cites three sources aware of the developments.

Last year, Google announced that it would begin outdoor testing of its AR-powered glasses that offered real-time translation across different languages, in August. The company had also stated in a blog post that it was working on other features like AR-based navigation that would be able to display details of busy intersections and weather conditions.     

Instead, Google is reportedly working on the development of an Android extended reality (XR) software platform for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners like Samsung, to help them build AR/VR headsets. The software for the platform is being developed in the form of a prototype codenamed Betty, according to the report.

Samsung qualcomm google XR large

Back in February, Samsung announced that it would collaborate with Google and Qualcomm to develop a new XR headset, stating that the device would be available soon. Earlier this year, Samsung reportedly filed a trademark for AR- and VR-capable Galaxy Glasses, which suggests the company could be planning to unveil a wearable headset in the coming months.

However, none of the three firms involved have provided additional information regarding the headset, including details of its appearance. The Business Insider report cites two Google employees who claim the company’s teams continue to work on AR and that Project Iris could be rebooted at some point in the future. 

Apple unveiled its first mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, at its annual developer conference, along with new Mac models and upcoming software updates. We discuss all the most important announcements made by the company at WWDC 2023 on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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