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Google Has Reportedly Killed its ‘Iris’ AR Glasses Project

Posted June 28, 2023 | augmented reality | Google | Hardware | Windows

Google has killed its “Project Iris” AR smart glasses to focus on augmented reality software, according to a report from Business Insider. The project was reportedly canceled earlier this year after Google laid off employees and saw Clay Bavor, its chief of augmented and virtual reality leave the company.

“Insiders say Google leaders kept changing the strategy for the Iris glasses when they were in development, which led to the team continually pivoting, frustrating many employees,” the report says. Google has reportedly been working on its AR glasses for a couple of years, and an early version of Iris was based on AR glasses from North, a Canadian startup that Google acquired back in 2020.

Now that Google canceled its own AR glasses, the company is focusing its resources on Android-based software for AR devices. The company is working with Qualcomm on a new Android XR platform that will power a new headset developed by Samsung. According to Business Insider, Google is also working on a “micro XR” platform for glasses.

“Two employees said that it was possible Google may resurrect the Iris glasses one day and that some teams were still experimenting with AR technologies. Other teams were moved to work on the software platform and Samsung partnership,” the employees told Business Insider.

While it will likely take some time before Google’s efforts to build AR software start to materialize, the company will be facing competition from Meta and Apple, two companies building their own hardware. Apple is said to be working on AR glasses that will be smaller than the Vision Pro headset the company unveiled earlier this month. And according to a recent report from The Information, Meta also has an AR glasses project in its pipeline.

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