Google to begin ‘real-world’ testing of AR device

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Google is preparing to test a prototype of a new augmented reality (AR) device starting next month.

The company said in a blog post Tuesday (July 19) that testing the device in a lab has limitations, which is why it plans to conduct real-world testing.

“This will allow us to better understand how these devices can help people in their daily lives,” the post reads. “And as we develop experiences like AR navigation, it will help us take into account factors like weather and busy intersections – which can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to fully recreate in real time. interior.”

The tech giant will begin small-scale testing in public locations, with AR prototypes worn by a few dozen employees and select testers, according to the post.

These tests come seven years after Google quietly shelved its Google Glass AR device amid a host of complaints, ranging from issues with how they viewed the device’s short battery life to concerns regarding confidentiality.

Google seems to have the latter issue in mind as it plans to test the new device, noting in the post that while prototypes will include in-lens displays, microphones and cameras, they will have “limitations strict about what they can do”. ”

For example, the prototypes don’t support videos or photography, but they allow porters to use image data to do things like translate menus or get directions.

“It’s early days, and we want to get it right, so we’re taking it slow, with an emphasis on protecting the privacy of testers and those around them,” the post reads.

In May, Google finalized a deal to acquire microLED startup Raxium to further its augmented and virtual reality (VR) goals. Silicon Valley-based Raxium has spent the past five years developing AR and VR wearables and headsets.

Read more: Google chooses MicroLED startup Raxium to pilot augmented reality

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