Google’s next AR glasses may utilize rings and bracelets as controllers

Google’s next AR glasses may utilize rings and bracelets as controllers
While we’ve not seen a new pair of Google AR (augmented reality) glasses since 2013, we know that Google is still holding on to the project. In this year’s I/O event, they made sure to tease a spiritual successor to the AR smart gadget at the very end, as if to remind fans that it is still being worked on.

Now, as per a report from 9to5 Google, unspecified “sources familiar with the development” have tipped that Google is looking into improving the way their smart specs are controlled via including smart rings and bands as input methods.

Let’s rewind a bit. Given that Google Glass happened years ago, it would be no wonder if you don’t remember what Google’s AR glasses even were. Basically, it was a small device, which you would wear, similar to a pair of glasses, and which would allow you to see a UI (user interface) overlayed on the real world. Cool, right?

Imagine it like menus in a video game, but much more grounded. It was capable of showing you the weather, your notifications and even allowed you to take photos of what you were looking at, via a tiny camera, with just a wink of your eye.

But what about other controls, like expanding notifications? Well, Google experimented with that too. There was a small touch-enabled panel, which you could use for navigation, but the device also reacted to “Ok Glass” — much in the vein of Google Assistant, albeit much less responsive, as per audience feedback.

For those of you who are following developments around the AR project closely, Google’s experimentation with different input methods won’t come as a surprise. After all, Google did acquire North — who worked on Focal and Loop, other AR frames that could be controlled via ring and joystick respectively — back in 2020.

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As per the unspecified source, North has influenced Google’s design decisions. What was once a control method for Focals 2.0 is now seemingly completely integrated into Google’s next AR glasses project.

Separately, 9to5Google shares received insight on Google’s experiments with a band too. The device would provide feedback via vibration to its wearer, while allowing utilization of taps and swipes as input methods.

While that may not sound impressive as an experiment, a new point of view might change your mind: imagine that those bands were replaced by smartwatches and fitness bands. That would give further utility of the smart wearables, which are already widely accepted.

The idea would also help the AR glasses fit in more easily. If such a gadget comes out, and it could be further enhanced via smart tech you already own, then getting one would make more sense, right? It would also remove the learning curve of having to get used to an entirely new set of gestures and controls.

All that being said, the project still seems to be on the backburner in Google’s kitchen. Until we get more official info — possibly in next year’s I/O event — we can’t speculate further, but we can surely say that we’re excited to see such a device in action.

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