Earlier this year at Google’s annual developer conference, the company gave viewers a short teaser of its upcoming augmented reality glasses. The company hopes its AR tech can open up the world to new experiences, and now, it’ll start publicly field-testing its next-gen wearables later this summer.
For those who don’t remember, its first Google Glass AR product came out in 2013 and became publicly available in 2014. And while it was mostly a letdown, with complaints over privacy and other things, that hasn’t stopped Google from pushing ahead.
To start, Google isn’t letting regular folks try its new AR glasses, at least not yet. Only a select few Google employees and other beta test members will be wearing them out in public as soon as August of 2022.
In a blog post this week, Google AR and VR product manager Juston Payne said, “The real-world tests will allow us to better understand how these devices can help people in their everyday lives. And as we develop experiences like AR navigation, it will help us take factors such as weather and busy intersections into account — which can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to fully recreate indoors.”
The teaser image above shows several different design ideas, so it’s hard to know what will end up worn in public. That said, Google did say these next-gen AR glasses will have in-lens displays, microphones, and cameras, but that those cameras can’t take photos of videos. Instead, it sounds like the cameras will allow the headset to see and interact with the world, not capture it.
The team is taking things slow, given all the backlash against Google Glass. The post further explained that “we want to get this right, so we’re taking it slow, with a strong focus on ensuring the privacy of the testers and those around them.”
While this is a step in the right direction for Google, there’s no mention of a potential release date for the public.