Google is building an augmented reality headset, The Verge reports – adding to a string of developments in big tech moving further into metaverse hardware via AR and virtual reality.
The company is no stranger to AR, having made a splashy launch into the space in 2012 (and then an impressive pullback) with its Google Glass “smart eyeglasses.” But momentum is building among tech giants to make more hardware moves as chatter about building the metaverse accelerates.
Facebook is so bit into it, using its Oculus hardware, that it renamed itself Meta. Microsoft’s headset entry is the HoloLens. And Apple’s quiet but heavy development in the space led Evercore to set a Street-high price target on the company.
Google, though, is now pushing on Project Iris, a product it hopes to ship in 2024 that would operate like upcoming efforts from Meta and Apple: outward-facing cameras that would blend real-world footage with computer graphics. A headset offers a more immersive experience than that offered by “smart glasses” like Google Glass or offerings from Magic Leap or Snap. Google also pulled back from a long effort to sell its Daydream VR headsets that relied on smartphones.
The Google project’s early prototypes look like unwired ski goggles, and would be powered by custom Google silicon and run its Android OS, according to the report. It has a core team of about 300 working on the effort, overseen by longtime AR/VR exec Clay Bavor. Seeking Alpha