After its Google Glass project, abandoned in 2015 then came out of the cupboards in 2017 with a version intended for businesses, Google is resuming its research on connected glasses.
Google wants to continue exploring the potential of augmented reality in our daily lives. These tests will serve, at the same time, to measure the appetite of the public in 2022 for this technology remodeled to stick to translation and navigation.
Google’s prototypes are rolling out of the labs for real-world testing “by next month,” according to a blog post published this week. A small group of “Googlers” in the United States will be able to test augmented reality devices in certain everyday situations, such as transcribing a restaurant menu or locating a café on the corner of the street.
Detect sound and image in real situation
Google glasses integrate a screen, visual and sound sensors. The firm thus wishes to test audio detection with the transcription and translation of words and visual detection for the translation of text or navigation in space.
Augmented reality “can help us quickly and easily access the information we need, such as understanding another language or knowing how to get from point A to point B,” the company says.
With this project, Google intends to capture with more precision certain factors “difficult or even impossible to recreate entirely indoors”, such as the weather and busy intersections.
Google opts for caution
The tests will start on a small scale and the capacities of the prototypes will be “limited”, assures Google. In particular, it will be impossible to film and photograph the scenes.
In other words, Google wants to take it easy. This caution also applies to the security and confidentiality of the data of users and those around them, underlines the firm. The testers will thus undergo training on the devices, protocols, confidentiality and security.
After the experiment ends, the data will also be deleted “unless used for analysis and debugging.” In this case, “the image data is first cleaned of any sensitive content, including faces and license plates”, then is “stored on a secure server, with access limited to a small number of Googlers for analysis and debugging”, before being deleted after 30 days.
Google’s work is not isolated. We are witnessing a democratization of immersive experiences in augmented reality at the time of the metaverse. Apple, Meta with Ray-Ban or even Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, are also getting into it to find a place in the market.
Google will test its augmented reality glasses in the field next month
Google plans to field test its augmented reality glasses sometime in August. But it is essential for the company to test them in the real world. These real-world tests “will provide a better understanding of how these devices can help people in their daily lives,” said Juston Payne, product manager at Google, in a blog post published on July 19, 2022.
Augmented reality helps to interact with the world around us. For example, the glasses developed by Google will provide access to a real-time translation solution that is displayed in the field of vision of the wearer of the glasses or to have navigation indications. With these tests, Google explains that it wants to better understand external factors such as weather conditions or crowded intersections. Data that is difficult to duplicate in the laboratory.
The tests will begin on a small scale in public places with prototypes carried by a few dozen people previously selected. “These prototypes will include screens, microphones and cameras integrated into the lens, but they will have strict limitations on what they can do”, tries to reassure the firm. For example, it will not be possible to take photos or film even if the data displayed by the camera will allow, for example, to translate text or indicate a nearby location.
THE FIRST FIASCO OF GOOGLE GLASS
Google had launched in 2013 on the connected glasses market with Glass, a product that quickly proved to be a fiasco. The company does not seem to have abandoned its ambitions in this area. It bought the start-up North, at the origin of the Focals connected glasses, in June 2019. It is also developing an operating system designed for this type of object.
Google about to test prototypes of its AR glasses
A procedure that will begin in a few days according to the official statements of the American manufacturer.
After an initial phase of research and development, it announces that its connected glasses will enter the test phase in August.
Google Glasses to assist, not to entertain
The American group makes it a point of honor to bet on a totally different approach from other manufacturers such as Meta (Oculus Quest 2) or Snapchat. While the latter want to provide users with a more enriched experience of social networks, Google goes against the grain with assistance features.
Its AR glasses should thus be centered on translation, dialogue transcription, visual search and a final function dedicated to routes and cartography. In this context, if they closely resemble traditional glasses, they are equipped with screens, microphones and cameras.
At this stage, the prototypes of this device have not yet left the confines of the R&D premises. Google now wants to speed up the procedure “in the real world”, knowing that in the words of Juston Payne, Group Product Manager at Google, “testing only in a laboratory environment has its limits”. The objective is then to understand how and in what context the testers use the different functionalities.
In addition, the teams in charge of the project will be able to make modifications relating to complex situations such as capricious weather, crowded places, as many situations which are “difficult, even impossible to completely recreate” in the laboratory.
Very supervised tests
Only a handful of people will be able to test these AR glasses. Juston Payne specifies that initially, they will be limited to a few dozen employees of the group and a small number of trusted testers.
And even if the testers are handpicked, Google takes a whole series of precautions. These prototypes will for example not support photography and video capture. This team will also have to be limited to a few geographical areas validated by the manufacturer, with a ban on wearing them in places of health, worship, in those intended for children or even in the context of events. They will finally have to tackle certain activities only.
For now, Google has not yet mentioned a name for its AR glasses and has not commented on a possible launch date. Despite everything, these tests testify to the progress made for this project, which is becoming more and more concrete.
With its Smart Glasses, Google returns to the AR glasses market
Smart Glasses are making a comeback with an augmented reality prototype that has already been tested behind the scenes. This model places translation and transcription in real time directly in the field of vision of the person wearing these glasses, the firm announces that it wants to take the next step, and plans to test prototypes of augmented reality in the field. It invokes the limits of the tests carried out in the laboratory.
In a blog post, Juston Payne, product manager for the Alphabet Group, also states that “this will help to take into account factors such as weather and busy intersections, which are difficult, if not impossible, to fully recreate. indoors”. Testing will begin on a small scale in public places, with augmented reality prototypes worn by “a few dozen selected Googlers and trusted testers”. These models will have screens, microphones and cameras integrated into the lenses, but their capabilities will be strictly limited. For example, these glasses do not support photography and video. However, the image data will be used to enable experiences such as translating the menu in front of you or showing the location of a nearby cafe.