Google Glass was one of the first devices to build augmented reality tech into spectacles, but that device came and went without making much of a real impact. Now it looks like Google is once again interested in this particular product category.
Based on hidden code discovered by 9to5Google in the Google app for Android, there’s a new reference to “iris”, as well as to launching Google Assistant with a tap on the right temple – which sounds like a pair of AI specs to us.
Now Project Iris was the codename of the specs that Google briefly showed off at Google I/O in 2022: their main job was to translate dialog spoken in a foreign language into text that would appear before your eyes.
It was only a short demo, and we haven’t heard much about the glasses since – except in June of this year, when a report appeared that suggested the project had been shelved. Four months later, it could be back on the table once again.
AR and MR
Considering the brevity of the initial demo, and the lack of official information about these AR specs, we don’t have much to go on in terms of what they can do – or indeed why they might have fallen down Google’s list of priorities.
We were certainly impressed by what Google showed off last year, but it seems likely that these specs would go beyond instant translation and cover a variety of other features too. We might be talking about everything Google Assistant can do, and then some.
Even while Google has been relatively quiet on this topic – at least since Google Glass Enterprise was discontinued – the market category continues to trundle on, as our Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses review shows.
We also know that Samsung and Google are currently working on a mixed reality headset to take on the likes of the Meta Quest 3 and the Apple Vision Pro. Based on this report, there could also be something more lightweight in the pipeline again.