Google’s AR goggles have been developing for several years but have never been released commercially. According to Business Insider, Google has terminated an AR glasses project developed for years.
The glasses were shelved earlier this year after layoffs, a reorganization, and the announcement that Google’s AR/VR director Clay Bavor was leaving the company, according to three people familiar with the matter. A Google spokesperson declined to comment.
The Verge first reported Project Iris in January 2022. It was described as similar to a pair of ski goggles, but employees say the “ski goggles” are a separate AR-based project for Samsung’s partner products. At the same time, Iris is a series of devices more akin to glasses.
Recent reports suggest that Google plans to develop and launch Iris as its product and to consolidate talent through acquisitions. In 2020, the company announced the addition of North, a Canadian startup that makes AR goggles. Early versions of Iris were very similar to North’s first device, Focals, while later versions demoed by Google had translation capabilities.
Since shelving the Iris goggles, Google has been focused on building an AR software platform that it hopes to license to other headset makers. Google employees are developing the software using a prototype platform known internally as “Betty.” One employee described the glasses platform as “an AR version of Android.”
Insiders say that Google’s leadership is constantly changing the strategy for Iris, causing the team to reorient itself and frustrating many employees. Two employees said that Google might take one-day relaunch Iris and that some groups are still experimenting with AR technology. Other teams are being shifted to software platforms and Samsung partnerships.