Friday, May 24, 2024
VR&AR

Did Google sneak a pair of A/R glasses into its I/O demo?


Key Takeaways

  • In a Google I/O demo video, what seemed to be AR glasses featured camera, mic, display, and speaker — similar to Google Glass but sleeker.
  • There is no official announcement from Google yet, and it’s unclear and unconfirmed if a prototype or upcoming product release is imminent.
  • It seams wearers can ask questions, get visual information, and interact with Project Astra through voice commands.


Is Google Glass back? During a video demonstrating the power of Google’s Project Astra during the Google I/O annual developers conference, the AI agent was able to locate a pair of glasses that it had seen earlier lying on a desk. Next to an Apple, of all things. Way to promote your rivals, Google.

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But then something very interesting happened. The person in the video put down the phone, put on the glasses, and carried on using Project Astra. That’s right, these weren’t any ordinary glasses, they were AR glasses.

google ar glasses text on screen

Google



What can the unnamed AR glasses do?

No mention was made of the glasses during the video, but from the short time that they were featured, it was possible to glean a few things.

Firstly, the wearer was able to ask questions about visual information when wearing the glasses, so there’s definitely a camera on board. Secondly, they were able to ask Project Astra questions via voice, so there’s definitely a microphone on board. Thirdly, text was visible on the screen, indicating that the glasses can display information. And finally, the wearer could hear spoken responses from the AI agent, so there’s definitely a speaker on board, too.

new google glass spotted with prescription lenses attached image 1

This is just Google Glass II, right?

Well, yes and no. It’s true that Google Glass had many of the same features, including a camera, mic, speaker, and on-screen display. But it also had a ridiculous wedge containing the heads-up display, that led to the genius nickname for people who wore them: Glassholes.


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The glasses in the Project Astra video looked like a standard pair of black eyeglasses, without any noticeable bumps or other protrusions. At first glance, it appears that these new AR glasses would be virtually indistinguishable from normal glasses.

google ar glasses in io demo video 2

Google

Did Google mention anything else about the glasses?

Google didn’t mention the glasses at all, so it remains to be seen if these were just an early prototype, or whether Google really does have a brand new wearable AR product ready to hit the market. Based on how little fanfare they got, my guess is that we won’t be seeing the new Google Glass any time soon. It’s also clear that Google would be unlikely to feature them in this video unless they were something that will come to market at some point.

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