What you need to know
- The next-generation AR hardware from Google may not be glasses at all, according to a new set of job postings from Google.
- Google will also be developing a brand new augmented reality operating system for new AR devices.
- Some job postings are located at the Kitchener-Waterloo location in Canada, which was previously responsible for North AR Glasses.
It's hard to believe, but it's been almost nine years since the original Google Glass made its public debut. While Google followed them up with Google Glass 2 in the beginning of 2020, that pair was aimed solely at Enterprise customers. Now, according to a bevy of job postings found by 9to5Google, Google is ready to work on a true next-generation pair of Augmented Reality (AR) glasses and a bespoke operating system to go alongside them.
While it's far too early to know what Google's new AR team is working on, many smart glasses like Ray-Ban Stories (pictured above) attempt to imbue technological goodness into a traditional glasses form factor.
Google's project scope posting says the company is "focused on making immersive computing accessible to many people through mobile devices," but many specific job postings discuss the creation of "an innovative AR device." Considering Google Glass was the first true AR device that made it to market — even if its cost put it out of reach of the vast majority of consumers — Google has quite a pedigree to follow in that respect, although this listing doesn't specifically mention smart glasses as the target form factor.
Going hand-in-hand with new hardware is the development of a brand new software platform to run the experience, known currently as the Augmented Reality OS. Based on the language used, this is going to be a new OS built upon the Linux kernel, likely similar to how Android is currently built but almost certainly not just going to be a variant of Android itself.
Google says it's working on "prototyping helpful, delightful user experiences," which is language familiar to anyone who has seen a Google product announcement in the recent future. Conspicuously absent from this new team is the mention of VR at all, which Google seems to have abandoned completely.
The AR team looks to sit alongside the Nest, Pixel, and other hardware teams in the Google hierarchy, and Google is hiring positions based in the U.S. and at its Kitchener-Waterloo location in Canada, which was home to the team that built North AR Glasses, which Google acquired last year.