According to two individuals familiar with the project who preferred to remain unnamed, Google is working on an augmented reality (AR) headset.
The company has been working on an electric vehicle for several years, internally code-named Project Iris. The device is currently in development at the company's San Francisco Bay Area facility, with early prototypes. The headset, which is expected to be available as early as 2024, mixes computer graphics with a real-world video feed using outward-facing cameras.
Google is still working on the hardware, which will be powered by a custom Google CPU like the one used in today's Pixel smartphones.
Project Iris will also function as a standalone device with LTE wireless connectivity and its own data storage.
The company is said to be considering Project Tango and Daydream as potential platforms for the AR headset, which could connect directly to Google’s augmented reality cloud platform.
The device will be developed under the supervision of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who plans to make it available for both consumer and commercial use.
A dedicated team within Google has been working on the prototype since earlier this year at the same time as other AR hardware projects like Apple’s ARKit developer platform, which enables third-party developers to create AR apps for iPhones and iPads.
Google believes the AR headset will be an evolution of its Daydream VR platform that could help revitalize its efforts in the augmented reality arena.
According to one source familiar with Google’s strategy, the company is considering launching a version next year at around the $500 price point, but it remains unclear how broadly available it will be since it’s still in the early stages of development.
Google declined comment on this story.Apple has also been working on its own AR headset that could ship as early as 2020, according to Bloomberg. The headset will rely on a dedicated display and incorporate an “rOS” or reality operating system based on iOS.