Google’s latest purchase could result in new AR or smart glasses with microLED screens 1,000 times brighter than normal screens
google reportedly bought a new startup specializing in smart glasses, with the aim of reviving its Glass product. Smart glasses have changed over the years. When they started in 2013, they were considered multitasking technology, like answering the phone while checking your emails. Today, they’ve leaned more towards mixed reality use cases and the metaverse.
The most advanced smart glasses on the market can mirror a user’s phone, accommodate augmented and virtual reality experiences, and even serve advanced industry professionals. Microsoft, with its Hololens, is seducing the professional sector, Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories are seducing social network users, and Apple, with its secret smart glass project, seems to want to win over normal users.
Google has acquired Raxium, according to Information. Raxium is a new startup developing what many consider disruptive technology for smart glasses, microLED displays. Google plans to integrate this new technology into its products, according to the report. Google’s AR headsets, or new versions of Glass, are expected to be powered by a bespoke chip, allowing for a wide range of capabilities. Although the official cost of the acquisition has not been disclosed, the deal is reportedly valued at around $1 billion.
The evolution and revolution of glass
Google has been in the smart glasses and headsets business for nearly a decade. In 2013, the company launched a limited availability product called Glass Explorer. In 2014, the product was made available to the general public. The high price, selling for $1,500, heavy design, limited features, and privacy issues quickly ended production. In 2017 and 2019, Glass reappeared but was aimed at the professional market, and was not very successful.
While Glass included AR and VR capabilities, how to connect these technologies to everyday users was and is still taking shape. Today, the concept of Metaverse, adopted by Meta in its own way and developed by many “Big Tech” companies, is rapidly taking over as “new-next thing.’ The idea is to merge virtual worlds with the real world seamlessly and smart glasses could be the perfect technology to achieve this.
Smart glasses have been criticized for lacking high resolution, poor color and brightness. It’s there that Raxium arrives, with the company claiming to build the world’s most capable ultra-high density µLED RGB displays. The technology is very small, and although these screens are too expensive for large screens, they could be perfect for smart glasses. They are 1000 times brighter in nits, are 50% more energy efficient and have a 3D light field and high resolution depths. This time, google may well hold the key to making smart glasses a global hit.
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