Google gives us a glimpse of what AI-powered AR smart glasses could look like

Google gives us a glimpse of what AI-powered AR smart glasses could look like
Header image is referential, showcasing the Xreal Air 2. | Image credit — PhoneArena

Google I/O 2024 was packed with announcements and demos of AI. Amidst all the excitement about Project Astra (a very impressive AI model), Google showed off a video of a person using AR (Augmented Reality) glasses.

Now, Google isn’t exactly known for following through on groundbreaking innovations. Google Glass, Google Stadia and Google Cardboard are just some of Google’s abandoned projects that come to my mind. So it would be unwise, in my opinion, to get your hopes up after this demo.

But what we did see in the pre-recorded clip was nothing short of science fiction. We were shown a pair of AR smart glasses that had a display, unlike the Ray-Ban smart glasses, and could converse with you in real time.

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Looks like something straight out of a Marvel film.

These glasses, powered by Project Astra, were shown to remember what they saw. Which is one of the key selling features of Project Astra. Furthermore, the user could talk with Astra through the glasses and get responses in real time. This included answers about whatever the user was currently looking at.

Now, to be very clear, this was a pre-recorded and controlled demo. These glasses have not been announced as an upcoming product This was simply a demonstration of what Project Astra could one day theoretically be capable of.

However, I’ve got my hopes up, and not necessarily for a product from Google. AR smart glasses are something that many seem to be working to make a reality. Meta is working on a pair of AR smart glasses that will also be powered by AI. And researchers at Stanford recently prototyped what might possibly be the future of Augmented Reality.

AR glasses and headsets exist today but what Google showed off at I/O is something on a different plane of existence. And I really hope we can get our hands on a functional pair sooner rather than later.
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