Google tests new AR smart glasses design

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Google is starting testing of a new generation of augmented reality (AR) smart glasses.

The company has been shipping variant of its Google Glass technology into businesses since its launch in 2012, with the latest version using the  Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 chipset with the Android Open Source Project 8.1 (Oreo) operating system, 3GB of LPDDR4 DRAM memory and 32GB eMMC Flash alongside an 8 Megapixel image sensor.

The new design is less complex and follows the acquisition of Canadian AR smart glasses developer North in 2020.

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“Starting next month, we plan to test AR prototypes in the real world. This will allow us to better understand how these devices can help people in their everyday lives,” said Juston Payne, Group Product Manager at Google who is leading the AR glasses project. “As we develop experiences like AR navigation, it will help us take factors such as weather and busy intersections into account — which can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to fully recreate indoors.”

“We’ll begin small-scale testing in public settings with AR prototypes worn by a few dozen Googlers and select trusted testers,” said Payne. ”These prototypes will include in-lens displays, microphones and cameras — but they’ll have strict limitations on what they can do. For example, our AR prototypes don’t support photography and videography, though image data will be used to enable experiences like translating the menu in front of you or showing you directions to a nearby coffee shop.”

“We want to get this right, so we’re taking it slow, with a strong focus on ensuring the privacy of the testers and those around them,” he said.

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