Google will start field testing its next-gen AR glasses this August

Here's hoping there are no Glassholes this time.


Back at I/O 2022 in May, Google teased the return of its augmented reality glasses by showing an early prototype of its next-gen glasses. Now, the company is just about ready to start real-world testing. You might spot a Googler wearing the glasses in the wild as soon as August.

"The real-world tests will allow us to better understand how these devices can help people in their everyday lives," Juston Payne, a group product manager at Google's AR and VR division, wrote in a blog post. "And as we develop experiences like AR navigation, it will help us take factors such as weather and busy intersections into account — which can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to fully recreate indoors."

The testing will be limited to a few dozen people (Google employees and trusted testers). The prototype models will be equipped with cameras, microphones and in-lens displays. Google is assessing audio and visual sensing for functions such as translation, transcription and navigation.

However, the features will be limited. The glasses won't capture photos or videos, though Google will use image data to translate text and display directions. Data will be deleted "after the experience is completed" unless it's going to be used for debugging and analysis. In that case, Google will remove sensitive information, such as faces and license plates. The company will delete image data used for research purposes after 30 days.

Google Glass wasn't quite the success the company hoped it would be — it's an enterprise product these days. The company wants to get things right with its next-gen AR glasses, so it's taking things slow. Payne noted that it's early days for the project. There's no release timeline for the glasses as yet.