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Google will begin public testing of its AR glasses next month

AR glasses are coming, and while Meta, Apple, and Snap all continue to develop their new digital devices, Google is also looking to advance its AR efforts, with public testing of its AR glasses beginning soon.

As explained by Google:

Starting next month, we plan to test AR prototypes in the real world. This will allow us to better understand how these devices can help people in their daily lives. 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, if not impossible, to fully recreate indoors. .

Google hasn’t shared any new images of its AR device – other than the in-development frames above – but it did provide this video of its “Proto-29” AR glasses in development at its I/O conference earlier this year.

From Google’s description, it looks like these are the glasses it’s going to test, with AR prototypes “that look like normal goggles with an in-lens display and visual and audio sensors.”

Testing will be limited to certain areas of the United States, with strict limitations on where testers can operate and the types of activities they can engage in..

In other words, San Francisco – the tests will be conducted in San Francisco around the search giant’s Mountain View headquarters (note this is just my own speculation, Google hasn’t specified the areas where it will be tested).

“We will begin small-scale testing in public places with AR prototypes worn by a few dozen Googlers and selected trusted testers. These prototypes will include in-lens displays, microphones and cameras – but they will have strict limitations on what they can do. For example, our AR prototypes do not support photography and videography, although image data is used to enable experiences such as translating the menu in front of you or the indication of a nearby cafe.

Google says it will test translation, transcription and navigation elements, while getting a better idea of ​​how the glasses work in the real world, as opposed to the closed lab environment.

It’s another step into the future of AR, where we’ll all eventually have digital heads-up displays superimposed over our vision at all times. This seems to lead to information overload. I mean, our attention spans have already evolved due to advances in connectivity, with trends like short-form video probably pushing even further, allowing people to process more and more information at faster speeds fast.

Having similar prompts and pointers, all the time, will speed this up even more, and while most people like the concept of having their own Iron Man-like display of information in front of their eyes, it will be interesting to see how it develops in practice, and what it means for broader consumer trends.

Could our brains ever turn off, and what will that do for our health? Will Refresh and Visine see a sudden increase in sales, due to overworked eyes?

Will augmented reality open up all new opportunities for advertisements and promotions, directly in front of people when they view your store – and how will this affect best practices and processes in the wider industry of digital advertising?

There are a bunch of questions, which will likely take years to answer, but it’s getting closer, with various AR glasses getting closer and closer to release.