Google reportedly working on AR headset with custom processor and cloud streaming

Google reportedly working on AR headset with custom processor and cloud streaming

Google has been in the AR/VR business for around a decade now, and even though its software technology has been popular (like ARCore/AR Play Services and Google Lens), the company’s hardware hasn’t gone as well. Google Glass now only exists as a corporate product, and only one dedicated Daydream VR headset was ever produced, but now another product is reportedly in development.

The Verge reports that Google is working on a new AR headset, nicknamed ‘Project Iris,’ which is still early in development and isn’t expected to arrive until 2024 at the earliest. The hardware is supposedly powered by a custom Google processor, just like the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and current prototypes use Android as the operating system. Some engineers from Google’s Pixel hardware team are involved with the project, but it’s not clear yet if the finished product will use the Pixel brand or not.

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This news comes after Mark Lucovsky joined Google in December, who previously worked as the General Manager for Operating Systems at Oculus. Lucovsky’s LinkedIn comments at the time, as well as 14 job postings related to an “Augmented Reality OS,” indicated Google was serious about a new AR product.

The headset is also designed to use Google data centers for rendering some graphics, so there’s an element of cloud streaming involved. That would reduce the power required for the headset, but also means some features might require a stable Wi-Fi connection. Still, 2024 is a long time away, and the company’s plans could change.

Apple is also reportedly working on an AR headset, and Meta already has some of the most successful VR headsets around under the Oculus brand. Meta was working on its own operating system for VR and AR devices to replace the Android-based OS in Oculus headsets, but those plans were reportedly scrapped after Lucovsky left Meta.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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