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Google teases the return of Google Glass in Project Astra demo

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert   

Google teases the return of Google Glass in Project Astra demo
  • While promoting Project Astra, Google CEO Sundar Pichai teased the possible return of Google Glass.
  • Pichai told CNBC that Google is working on prototype glasses to work with Project Astra's AI model.

Google Glass might be ready to make a comeback.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichar teased the possible return of the wearable technology, integrated with Google's new multimodal AI assistant, Project Astra.

"Project Astra shines when you have a form factor like glasses," Pichar told CNBC. "We are working on prototypes."

In the Project Astra demo, the prototype glasses help the wearer enhance schematic plans on a whiteboard, interpret a drawing meant to reference the Schrödinger's Cat paradox, and create a band name based on a Golden Retriever and its stuffed toy tiger.

Representatives for Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

In his CNBC appearance, Pichar didn't elaborate further on the prototypes under development or how soon Project Astra will be implemented into wearable tech like glasses.

However, users commenting on the demo quickly congratulated Google for reinvigorating the technology that stopped production nearly a decade ago.

"Google Glass has RE-entered the chat," one user quipped below the YouTube video promoting Project Astra and featuring the prototype glasses.

"I do think the Google Glass was ahead of its time, and now is the ideal time to rerelease it, especially after Apple and Facebook's sudden interest in this market," another wrote.

The original Google Glass debuted in 2013 but was a remarkable commercial failure. Initially toted as the way of the future, wearers of the tech were mercilessly mocked, and the release of Google Glass 1.0 was marred by literal and figurative headaches during production, as author Quinn Meyers noted in his book "Google Glass: Remember the Internet no. 3."

Production on the original Google Glass was ultimately discontinued in 2015, though two enterprise editions were attempted in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Sales on both were discontinued by 2023.

However, given the Project Astra demo, it appears Google never fully gave up on its plan, and a resurgence of the tech featuring Google's latest iteration of its Gemini AI assistant may be very close on the horizon.

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