In June, rumors circulated that Google had abandoned Iris. Iris is an AR glasses project with the goal of improving upon North’s existing tech. At Google I/O in 2016, the first prototypes of live translation glasses were shown off. In a parallel effort, newer Pixel phones were used to power more sophisticated software and experiences on the now-defunct Glass Enterprise Edition 2.
Although it was unfortunate, the cancelation did not rule out the potential of resuming the development of Iris at a later date. The reason for this is that many current and former Google employees were made aware that the project could be restarted at the time. It was reported in August that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Samsung were given a presentation on Iris and the concept of augmented reality smart eyewear, with a release date set for 2025.
Google Iris Smart Glasses
It seems like momentum may have been revived with the latest beta version of the Google app for Android. A new “iris” string in the app informs that touching and holding on the right temple instead of saying “Hey Google” would bring up the Google Assistant.
The Sony LinkBuds have the same capability of being activated by caressing the temple. We’ve established that the questioned string does not apply to the LinkBuds but rather to Google devices with the “iris_device” property. This could mean that all AR glasses are created by Google, or it could mean that only one of their products is called Iris.
Previous investigation suggested that Google’s next AR eyewear would resemble the Focals by North in many aspects. Incorporating a ring with controls for interacting with software is a part of this. Additional touch gestures, such as those used with Assistant, are shown to be necessary for this type of gadget to function.
No one knows if Google will finally follow through this time and create genuine augmented reality smart glasses, either by releasing its own hardware or by partnering with an OEM. The Apple Vision Pro and the Meta Quest series are two VR headsets that use Android. In the upcoming months, both Google and Samsung plan to offer their own XR headsets running on Android.