It seems that Google is considering taking new steps in the world of augmented reality (AR). In this area, the company is perhaps best known for its Google Glass AR lenses, but since this initiative did not give the expected result, the technology giant may be looking to launch another product. In fact, a patent for an "augmented reality screen for head use" was granted this week to the company.
The patent specifically indicates the use of a device that can superimpose computer-generated content on real-world objects, although it is not much more specific than that description. The documents mention the use of a frame and a reflective surface, along with the fact that it has a microdisplay, although that is something that almost all augmented reality headsets will need.
Of course, if Google ends up launching a device like this for augmented reality, it may eventually be in direct competition with Apple, as more and more rumors about the projectMirrorshadeApple's AR lenses have been appearing for some time. According to those rumors, these glasses will be launched from 2020 and may work similarly to the Apple Watch, as a device that is paired with the iPhone and used to display notifications, and possibly even to track the physical state . Eventually, AR headphones are likely to be independent of the iPhone and have their own operating system.
Google will also be competing with Microsoft, which is currently in its second generation of Hololens. However, these glasses cost $ 3,500 dollars, which makes it much less a consumer device and more focused on companies and business customers.
As is the case with any patent, there is no guarantee that Google's augmented reality headsets are as described in the document. The company has been directing its attention lately towards the hardware, so it is plausible that it may be working on an AR headset that can be paired with Google Pixel phones.
Google has also begun to take the world of video games more seriously, with the announcement of its Stadia streaming platform, so it is also possible that future AR lenses are more game-centric.
FACEBOOK TAMBIN LAUNCH YOUR OWN LENSES AR
Of course, Google and Apple are not the only tech giants with plans to expand their presence in this growing field. At the end of last year and after months of rumors and speculation, Facebook confirmed that it is working on its own lenses with increased loyalty. After the launch of its smart Portal screen, everything pointed to the signals of the work of the social network could be challenging both Apple and Google, adding a new player to the scene.
More than a year after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook was not developing technology in that area and that it would take about five to seven years to manufacture augmented reality lenses, the Director of Augmented Reality of Facebook, Ficus Kirkpatrick, believes that Facebook AR glasses are something that should come true in a much closer time.
Of course we are working on it, I think we have talked about this publicly in Oculus Connect. We are doing a lot of research on this, but I think the glasses we are wearing are still quite far, Kirkpatrick told TechCrunch at the time. We have no product to announce at this time, but we have many very talented people who are conducting a cutting-edge research, which we hope will be part of future AR lenses.
The social media giant now has its own hardware lab and, considering Facebook's ownership of Oculus, there may be some cooperation on the software side of future VR glasses. However, as with the Google device, for now that probability is remote and there is still a lot of development before any real product is available to the general public. We will keep you informed when we know more news.