Google is working on a new augmented reality device

Google is working on a new augmented reality device

Google was early to the augmented reality industry, but hasn’t had much of a presence there in recent years. The heads-up display Google Glass was released in 2013 as a prototype, but never became a widespread consumer product — instead, it’s now sold to exclusively to businesses for workplace use. Now it seems Google is working on a new AR product.

Mark Lucovsky previously worked at Oculus (owned by Meta, formerly Facebook) for over four years as a General Manager for Operating Systems, and he revealed on LinkedIn (via Ars Technica) that his new role is leading Google’s Operating System team for AR. He also posted a comment explaining the group’s goal:

100% correct that the OS is just one piece of the puzzle. My broader group is ultimately responsible for delivering compelling end-user value and a lot of that is a function of the experiences that are delivered on top of the OS.

There are also 14 job openings at Google right now for an ‘Augmented Reality OS’ (via 9to5Google) including Senior Software Engineers, System Administrators, and Embedded Systems Technical Program Managers. Some positions mention an “understanding of Linux kernel and driver model” as a preferred qualification, as well as “expertise in one or more of the following areas: microcontroller/SoC firmware development, system-level RTOS development (IPC, synchronization primitives, etc.), low-level peripheral drivers and hardware bringup, embedded system security, performance optimization for ARM processors.”

It’s unclear if this new AR project is building upon Google Glass, or will be a completely different product. The recommendation for Linux knowledge suggests the new operating system might be based on Linux or Android (the Google Glass OS was based on Android), but the company might also put its in-development Fuchsia OS to good use.

Google’s recent history with AR has mostly been focused on Google Play Services for AR (previously known as ARCore), which provides AR features for countless third-party apps.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.