Google won’t let Apple and Meta get the lead on AR: new AR OS and headset in the works

Google won’t let Apple and Meta get the lead on AR: new AR OS and headset in the works
Google was one of the first major tech companies to play with the idea of augmented reality with the Google Glass headset release in 2013. While it was an exciting product, its hype quickly died off. Some years pass, and now other major players like Apple and Meta are making serious efforts to brace themselves for the next age in consumer electronics—the AR/VR age.

Contrary to its lack of activity in the past few years, however, Google has seemingly taken the reins on AR once again, judging by some recent job listings online. Former head of mixed reality operating system work at Meta Mark Lucovsky, announced on LinkedIn he is now the operating system engineering director at Google. (via 9to5Google)

"My role is to lead the Operating System team for Augmented Reality at Google," said Lucovsky. Previously, he was also one of the most contributing architects at Microsoft, where he worked on Windows NT.

Lucovsky also shared a link with several of the Google job listings mentioned. One of said listings paints quite the complete picture of what the search engine giant plans to do with the new hires:

The description above is for the Senior Software Developer, Embedded, Augmented Reality OS role. If we look into some of the other descriptions, some of them also talk about an “innovative AR device,” which Google plans to make “accessible to billions of people.”

These roles are mainly situated in the United States, with some of them located in Waterloo, Ontario where smart glass maker North (acquired by Google in 2020) is based. Some of the required skills candidates must have to apply for the roles are “Experience with real-time operating system (RTOS) development,” and “Understanding of Linux kernel and driver model."

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Arguably the more exciting news here is the development of a whole new operating system for a form factor that most of us are unfamiliar with. Google is well known for its software prowess, but so is Apple. Meta, on the other hand, is probably the company that has invested the most in research and development. The next decade or so will see a clash of giants battling for who will take the biggest piece of the AR pie.

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