In recent times, the race towards mastering augmented and mixed reality technologies has taken an intriguing turn. On one hand, Google revives its efforts on the Iris AR glasses project, hinting at a bright future for its AR endeavors. On the flip side, Meta’s newly released Quest 3 has been causing quite the stir in the mixed reality realm.
The launch of Meta Quest 3 a week ago has brought an unparalleled mixed-reality experience to its users, marking a significant upgrade from its predecessor, especially with its full-color passthrough feature. This feature, a stark contrast to the earlier black-and-white mode, allows users to interact with their surroundings while immersed in the virtual realm. Yet, this advancement has come with its quirks as social media gets flooded with what The Verge humorously termed “Meta glassholes” – individuals taking their Quest 3 adventures into the public domain.
The scenes are as bizarre as they are amusing; tech aficionados stepping into the local coffee shop or leisurely painting in the park, all while donned in the Quest 3 headset. While there’s no harm in a bit of public AR exploration, these instances seem to border on doing things for the sheer novelty rather than utility, showcasing a peculiar blend of reality and digital extravagance.
Meanwhile, in the Google camp, the resurgence of the Iris project signifies a renewed vigor towards carving a niche in the AR landscape. The latest beta update to the Google app on Android reveals intriguing snippets hinting at the Iris project’s potential comeback. This development follows earlier discontinuation in June, which had left many tech enthusiasts in a lurch. However, the new string tagged “iris” in the app, suggesting a fresh method to invoke the Google Assistant, has rekindled hope for Google’s AR glasses, according to a 9to5 Google report.
The Iris glasses, speculated to be heavily inspired by the Focals by North, are believed to leverage ring-worn controls for software interaction, supplemented by other touch gestures for functionalities like invoking the Assistant. Moreover, the intertwining of the Google Assistant with Iris suggests a step towards creating a seamless interface for common tasks like making calls or setting timers.
As Meta’s Quest 3 continues to draw both awe and amusement in its early days, Google’s rekindled interest in the Iris project showcases the ever-evolving nature of AR and mixed-reality technologies.