Google is Working on a Standalone Augmented Reality Headset
According to the rumor mills, there is a Google augmented reality standalone headset in the offing.
The German news website Winfuture.de is reporting that a Google project codenamed Google A65 is actually an effort by the tech giant to make a standalone AR headset that is expected to rival the Microsoft HoloLens.
The new AR headset will likely be powered by a Qualcomm custom chip processor and the tech giant will be partnering with the Taiwanese company Quanta in tits development. Quanta is the same tech company that helped Google in the development of the Pixel C Android tablet.
Quanta is also reportedly involved with another tech company called Meta in developing a device codenamed A66. Meta is a Silicon Valley tech company that has been active in the development of augmented reality products such as the Meta 2 Development Kit and the Meta 1 Developer Kit. It will be interesting to see how all these collaborations and tie ups will pan out in the final AR product.
The chip set to be used in Google’s AR headset may likely be one of Qualcomm’s new series of chips that are currently in use in various Internet of Things (IoT) devices. However, it is not yet clear whether the A65 processor will be an existing one made by Qualcomm or a new unique one. According to the Winfuture.de report, the A65 processor is expected to be the QSC603, which is the one currently deployed for IoT devices. This may not be the case eventually, but Qualcomm is reportedly involved in the project either way.
Currently, the market leader in mixed reality is the $3,000 Microsoft HoloLens. It is an enterprise-grade product and the only one that offers users an un-tethered mixed reality experience.
Just like the HoloLens, the Google AR headset is expected to give users a wireless experience, thus enabling them to put on the headset and walk freely at home, in the office or even outside as they take in the mixed reality environment.
This is not Google’s first foray into augmented reality. It already tried with the failed Google Glass “wearable computer” which is now used mostly by niche enterprise customers. With the A65, Google could be building something really powerful from its spectacular failure and it will be interesting to see what it does different this time as it takes another stab at creating consumer-oriented augmented reality hardware. It is not yet clear when the A65 will be released to the market.