New Google AR OS And Wearable Gadget In The Making

Google isn't one to shy away from starting and killing off experiments, even ones that cost it a great deal of time and money. If you're a company with so many resources anyway, you can always chalk it up to experience. That's true for simpler things like the Inbox email app and the Daydream VR platform, as well as for more expensive ones like Google Glass. The company's direction with the latter and augmented reality, in general, hasn't exactly been the most consistent or most reliable, but it seems that Google wants to make another and deeper stab at it with a few curious job openings.

Even after Google shut the Glass doors to consumers, keeping its AR glasses in the hands of the enterprise, the company continued to work on other augmented reality projects, none of which really survived intact. There was, of course, Project Tango that eventually shrunk down to ARCore on Android. That said, there are few serious applications of ARCore today outside of stickers, toy utilities, and Google Search objects.

Now it seems that Google is trying to pick up the slack, but it might be going to the opposite extreme. 9to5Google reports on a new hire and some job openings at Google that points to the company's efforts to develop more than just AR apps and features. Google might be, in fact, working on a new Augmented Reality OS.

Along with that AR OS is a mention (in a Software Developer job listing) of an "innovative AR device," though it's definitely unclear at this point how innovative it would be. There is already a good number of AR and MR (mixed reality) devices around, ranging from bulky headsets to lightweight eyewear to the recently announced OPPO Air Glass. Of course, Google now also owns Focals, and some of the job openings are actually for that new subsidiary.

Google might be taking a cue from Apple, which is expected to reveal at least the developer version of its own AR headset. The iPhone maker has long been rumored to be a firm believer in AR, but it has so far also limited itself to mobile applications of the technology. As a privacy champion, it might have stalled on how to properly protect not only users but also bystanders from an otherwise obtrusive piece of technology.

A dedicated augmented reality operating system, however, seems a bit too much, considering Google already has quite a few platforms under its belt. Then again, this might also be based on its other operating systems like Android or Fuschia. There is also the chance that it might never see the light of day anyway, like many other stillborn Google experiments.