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Google’s AR Challenges and Anticipated Announcements in 2024

BlogGoogle's AR Challenges and Anticipated Announcements in 2024

Google’s AR faces significant challenges in the dynamic world of augmented reality (AR), sparking doubts about its ability to compete effectively. The departure of Paul Greco, Vice President of Engineering, fuels skepticism but also prompts an opportunity for learning from setbacks.

Navigating Industry Challenges

Tech companies entering the AR landscape grapple with challenges, and Google is no exception. Departures and project cancellations highlight the complexity of creating AR hardware meeting both technological and consumer expectations. Google’s adaptability will determine its standing in the competitive AR landscape.

Competitors’ Impact

Competitors like Meta and Apple make strides in AR/VR, intensifying the pressure on Google. Meta’s diverse headsets and Apple’s imminent Vision Pro launch accentuate the need for a compelling AR solution. The appeal of Ray-Ban Meta glasses underscores the urgency of Google’s response.

Urgency for a Coherent AR Vision

The absence of a consistent AR strategy raises doubts about Google’s competitive edge. In a rapidly evolving AR/VR/XR/MR wearables market, a clear vision is essential. The potential of glasses as the next primary device adds urgency. Recent missteps shift the advantage to competitors.

Learning from Past Setbacks

The departure of Paul Greco provides an opportunity for Google to learn from setbacks. Despite challenges with Project Iris and Project Moohan, Google remains committed to AR. A new team focuses on monocular and binocular AR glasses, signaling a hardware commitment. Licensing the operating system to partners reflects a shift towards collaboration, mirroring the successful Android model.

The Roadmap for 2024

Anticipated announcements in 2024 are not mere speculation but a desire for tangible progress. The roadmap includes announcing a Samsung XR headset powered by a Qualcomm chip and running a special Android version. Collaboration with Samsung emphasizes leveraging partnerships for successful AR hardware development.

Developer Enablement and User Experience

The 2024 announcement revolves around enabling developers and emphasizing user experience. Providing tools and platforms at events like Google I/O is crucial for building a robust AR ecosystem. The emphasis on productivity and entertainment use cases is vital for winning consumer trust and adoption.

Fully Integrated “Made by Google” Approach

While the OEM model may suffice for a headset, there is a strong sentiment that AR glasses should be entirely “Made by Google.” Offering a seamless hardware and software experience is crucial. Drawing parallels to Pixel phones, Google’s AR efforts hinge on delivering a compelling product.

Modernizing the Vision

Learning from the past, Google’s AR efforts in 2024 aim to modernize the vision. Building on the success of the original “One Day” concept video for Google Glass, the company aims to showcase how AR seamlessly integrates into daily life. A forward-looking vision resonates with users and demonstrates practical applications.

Key Departure: Paul Greco, who played a crucial role in developing AR devices, recently left Google. He had joined the company in 2021 from Magic Leap, where he served as CTO. Greco led projects such as Starline and the Iris project, focusing on augmented reality glasses. However, Project Iris was abandoned midway last year as Google shifted its focus to collaborating with Samsung on an AR/VR headset, akin to Apple’s Vision Pro, under the Moohan project.

Project Restructuring: Following Greco’s departure, reports indicate that his team has been restricted from contributing to other Google AR projects. The management’s decision aims to safeguard the technologies developed under Project Moohan, as Google positions itself to work closely with Samsung.

Ongoing Efforts and Future Plans: Despite the challenges, Google remains committed to AR glasses. Engineers are actively developing a software platform tailored for such devices, accessible to hardware partners. Google reportedly has two AR glasses prototypes, code-named Betty and Barry, which will be showcased to potential partners.

Strategic Shifts and Industry Implications: Google’s struggles in AR development highlight broader challenges faced by tech companies in this emerging field. The departure of key personnel like Paul Greco raises questions about the effectiveness of Google’s AR strategy. The company’s frequent strategy shifts and project cancellations suggest a lack of clear direction, potentially hindering its ability to compete with more focused competitors, such as Apple.

Looking Ahead: Google sees the upcoming CES 2024 as an opportunity to attract partners interested in its AR glasses software platform. Potential collaborators, including Samsung, might engage in exclusive agreements. Google’s ability to address these challenges and establish a coherent AR strategy will play a crucial role in determining its competitive position in the dynamic AR landscape.


In conclusion, Google’s journey in the AR space faces challenges, but the company’s commitment, collaborations, and anticipated announcements in 2024 reflect a determined effort to overcome obstacles. As Google navigates the AR landscape, the industry watches to see if it can recapture its position as a trailblazer in the evolving world of AR/VR/XR/MR wearables.


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