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Sundar Pichai says the Google hardware platform team is "thinking" about augmented reality

During Alphabet's third-quarter 2021 earnings call, Sundar Pichai was asked about augmented reality, and the CEO shared some brief thoughts on Google's work in augmented reality.
Google isn't talking about augmented reality hardware in any significant way compared to other companies like Facebook. Instead, it only focuses on services and AR in the Android/ mobile app environment.
Today's topic comes from an analyst at Morgan Stanley. Pichai began by saying that the company is thinking about the future of technology, citing Ambient Computing as an example. This concept is part of Google's "help is always available" vision and was mentioned in last week's presentation of tensor SoC.AC was also mentioned last year when Google's hardware division bought North, the Canadian company responsible for Focals smart glasses.
For some time now, we've been focused on long-term thinking through computation. We've talked about ambient computing, and it's only a matter of time before, you know, you see other form factors of success outside of mobile.AR is an exciting part of the future.
The chief executive believes it is only a "matter of time" before something other than smartphones succeeds. Sundar Pichai concludes that Google's current approach is to make the necessary "deep investments" in AR, such as the multi-mode visual search Google Lens will get through MUM next year.
There was also a curious mention of making sure YouTube plays a role in VR and AR. In February, YouTube said it was redesigning its virtual reality app home page to "improve navigation, accessibility and search capabilities."

More significantly, he said Google's hardware and platform teams are "looking at" augmented reality, which will be "a major area of investment for us."
On the hardware side, there's the aforementioned Focals acquisition, and Google was previously involved with Daydream. Previously rumored a standalone headset may be abandoned as the daydream is no longer to see active development shift to AR-based technology. Meanwhile, the Glass Enterprise edition, although this displays uncovered content, offers more floating vision in the upper right corner of the screen. However, there is some expertise in making head-mounted hardware.
Platform development is also interesting. Now there is ARCore and various AR models (animals, for example). Presumably, these apps could soon move from phones to dedicated headphones, which Is what Apple is doing now. Lens, meanwhile, will serve as Google's primary UI for identifying objects and asking questions in the future.
Google is indeed developing services and apps for AR, but it remains to be seen whether it also wants to replicate the Android ecosystem and provide an operating system for everyone. There are also questions about whether Google will offer its headsets for an end-to-end experience.

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