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Google has canceled its Project Iris AR glasses and switched to building a platform

According to the publication, Google is now focusing on software. 

In January of last year, it was revealed that Google was building an AR headset as well – “Project Iris” was supposed to be the company’s answer to the then-unannounced headsets from Meta and Apple. But now that competitors have shown off their products, Google is reportedly ceasing development of AR glasses, according to The Insider.

About the “translator glasses” from Google became known at last year’s Google. However, if the new information is true, then it means that there are no more points. It also means that the transcription and navigation version, which Google said should have been testing since last July, is also no longer in development.

According to the publication, Google is now focusing on software. The company is building a “micro XR” platform that it can license to other headset makers, similar to how Google provides Android to a broad ecosystem of phones.

However, the headset may not be completely lost. In February, Google, Samsung, and Qualcomm made an incredibly vague announcement that the three companies were collaborating on a new mixed reality platform, and while we haven’t heard much about it since, Insider sources claim that Google glasses have “virtually become the foundation” for Samsung’s upcoming headset.

This isn’t the first time Samsung and Google have collaborated to create an advanced device that Google wasn’t ready to build on its own. Google has been working on modifying Android to support the Galaxy Fold line of foldable phones long before it released its own Pixel Fold this summer.

Google originally wanted to release an AR headset in 2024. At Google I/O 2023 last month, Google VP Sameer Samat said the company would “reveal a collaboration with Samsung later this year.”

There have been layoffs and shifts in strategy over the course of Project Iris development, with Google’s head of VR/AR Clay Bavor leaving the company four months ago, Insider reports. Kurt Akely, a prominent engineer who was involved with the project, is now listed as a “retiree” on his LinkedIn page. Two other people, including Mark Lukovsky, the company’s senior director of operating systems for AR, are still involved in AR.