Google just snuck a pair of AR glasses into a Project Astra demo at I/O

Google just snuck a pair of AR glasses into a Project Astra demo at I/O

In a video demonstrating the prowess of its new Project Astra app, the person demonstrating asked Gemini “do you remember where you saw my glasses?” The AI impressively responded “Yes, I do. Your glasses were on a desk near a red apple,” despite said object not actually being in view when the question was asked. But these weren’t your bog-standard visual aid. These glasses had a camera onboard and some sort of visual interface!

The tester picked up their glasses and put them on, and proceeded to ask the AI more questions about things they were looking at. Clearly, there is a camera on the device that’s helping it take in the surroundings, and we were shown some sort of interface where a waveform moved to indicate it was listening. Onscreen captions appeared to reflect the answer that was being read aloud to the wearer, as well. So if we’re keeping track, that’s at least a microphone and speaker onboard too, along with some kind of processor and battery to power the whole thing.

We only caught a brief glimpse of the wearable, but from the sneaky seconds it was in view, a few things were evident. The glasses had a simple black frame and didn’t look at all like Google Glass. They didn’t appear very bulky, either.

In all likelihood, Google is not ready to actually launch a pair of glasses at I/O. It breezed right past the wearable’s appearance and barely mentioned them, only to say that Project Astra and the company’s vision of “universal agents” could come to devices like our phones or glasses. We don’t know much else at the moment, but if you’ve been mourning Google Glass or the company’s other failed wearable products, this might instill some hope yet.

Catch up on all the news from Google I/O 2024 right here!

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Cherlynn Low

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