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The big picture: The metaverse is coming whether you like it or not and big tech companies are scrambling to develop strategies on how to get involved. While some are interested in the NFT side or crafting the fabric of the metaverse, others like Apple and Google are seemingly more engrossed with building hardware to interface with virtual worlds.
The latter is said to be working on an augmented reality headset codenamed Project Iris. Should all go according to plan, it’ll ship sometime in 2024, say two unnamed sources as reported by The Verge.
Sources told the publication the device, in development at a facility in the San Francisco bay area, looks like a pair of skiing goggles and will utilize outward-facing cameras. It’ll be powered by a custom Google processor and runs Android – at least, at this early stage of development.
It’s unclear if Google will brand it as a Pixel device, but as the publication understands it, the Pixel hardware team is involved to some degree. We can almost be certain that Google will avoid Glass branding, however.
Apple's long-rumored mixed reality headset has reportedly run into design challenges, and might not arrive until 2023 at the earliest.
The secret project is being led by Clay Bavor, who reports directly to CEO Sundar Pichai. Bavor has been involved in the company’s AR and VR efforts for years with Google Daydream and Cardboard. Roughly 300 people are actively working on Project Iris, and there are plans to eventually add hundreds more.