Look out for Google's new AR glasses in public

Google plans to do things differently for the return of the Glassholes
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Google has revealed that it's ready to move testing of its prototype AR glasses out from the lab and into the real world as it attempts to bring smartglasses to the masses once again.

The big G shared in a blog post that starting from August 2022 it's going to begin small-scale testing of its augmented reality specs it teased back in May at its I/O developer conference. These glasses will offer features like the the ability to translate and transcribe languages and also support a navigation mode.

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It's that navigation support that seems to be part of the reason Google wants to take the testing further afield, which according to Google's AR product manager Juston Payne, will help to take factors such as weather and busy intersections into account.

The testing in public settings will be conducted by Google employees and select trusted testers. The post also gives us a better sense of the kind of technology the glasses are packing with in-lens displays, cameras and microphones all on board.

The prototypes apparently won't use those cameras and mics to record video and photos, though it will be using image data to support the ability to translate menus and offer directions to locations.

Google says it wants to take things slow and is making privacy of testers and those around them a big priority, which seems to be a response to the approach it took with its Glass AR eyewear when it went public back in 2012.

While Glass lives on in the enterprise world, it was far from a consumer success. Google will surely be hoping a more considered approach to putting its AR specs to the public test will ensure a smoother roll out when it decides to launch its next-gen pair.

While public testing is set to commence, there still isn't any indication when Google's new glasses will hit the mainstream. Google will want this round of testing to go smoothly and will be an important step in getting them ready to be worn by more than just a handful of testers.

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Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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