Google has allegedly scrapped its artificial reality (AR) product dubbed Project Iris, three anonymous sources told Business Insider.

On 20 January 2022, The Verge reported that Google was working on producing an AR headset with hopes to release it in 2024.

Project Iris has been a very tight secret within the Google community, however, according to Insider’s sources, the company decided to scrap the project to focus on software production instead of hardware.

Google Thinks AR Could Be the Future

Google has a long history of showing interest in AR as well as virtual reality (VR) products and services.

“Augmented, virtual, and immersive reality expand how we experience the world and access knowledge. They allow you to take in information and content visually, in the same way you take in the world,” the company says on its website.

So far, Google has implemented AR into the Google search function, Google Maps and Google Lens. AR has also been integrated into YouTube and with the introduction of Swirl, an immersive display format designed for mobile phones allowing users to interact with the 3D models of objects advertisers are looking to sell.

The more recent AR project, Project Iris, was supposed to be a pair of AR glasses that also housed the ability to generate realistic, mixed-reality experiences.

In February 2023, Samsung had announced that it had partnered with Google and Qualcomm to build an ecosystem for extended reality (EX).

Google refused to provide any comments to media outlets.

Apple Delays AR Glasses, Is AR No Longer Relevant?

In today’s world, AR is pretty widespread and it is no question that in the long, run it could be a potential help for many individuals and businesses alike.

In January 2023 Bloomberg reported that Apple had paused the development of its AR Apple Glasses which would have been released after the development of its mixed reality AR/VR headset. Even though the Apple Glasses are so far rumoured to be on indefinite hold, sources online are stating that the AR project will still be released eventually.

At the start of the month, Meta had also announced that Meta Quest 3, the company’s “next-generation virtual and mixed reality headset” will be launching this fall, so Google’s plans to scrap Project Iris are quite shocking.

A few days later, Apple unveiled its AR headset, the Apple Vision Pro.

“Vision Pro creates an infinite canvas for apps that scales beyond the boundaries of a traditional display and introduces a fully three-dimensional user interface controlled by the most natural and intuitive inputs possible — a user’s eyes, hands, and voice,” the company said in a press release.

The Vision Pro Headset is set to beat all competition in VR and AR headsets like Meta’s Quest Pro with its incredible hardware, truly setting the way for augmented as well as virtual reality.

If the Vision Pro succeeds it could bring AR to the forefront of the tech world and inspire Google to revive its AR glasses project.

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