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What’s up with the smart AI glasses Google just showed at I/O?

We're guessing you shouldn't hold your breath for Google Glass 2.

Published onMay 14, 2024

Smart glasses worn during a Google Project Astra demo
  • Google showed off a chatbot that ran on smart glasses at its I/O developer conference.
  • We’re curious about the smart glasses, but you might not want to hold your breath for Google Glass 2.

Google just showed off a rather nifty AI feature dubbed Project Astra at its I/O developer conference. This feature combines your camera viewfinder with a responsive chatbot. However, the company’s demo also showed this AI feature running on a pair of smart glasses, and that certainly raised our eyebrows.

The demo showed a woman putting on a pair of smart glasses running Project Astra. The chatbot quickly responded to queries about what the user saw, providing assistance with a technical diagram and more.

However, we’re curious about the actual smart glasses used during this demo, which Google called a “prototype glasses device” in a YouTube video description. Google made a huge splash in the early 2010s with Google Glass, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re looking at a Google Glass 2 prototype, though.

One big reason why this isn’t likely new Google smart glasses is that the company reportedly canceled a next-gen augmented reality (AR) glasses project last year. It apparently decided to switch to AR software development and a so-called “micro-XR” platform for AR glasses.

It, therefore, seems like a safer bet that the company is working on software for AR glasses in general. And we wouldn’t be surprised if the smart glasses seen in this demo are actually running a very early version of Google’s micro-XR platform.

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