Google has introduced real augmented reality glasses

On May 11 and 12, 2022, the fourteenth edition of Google I / O took place, an annual conference organized by Google to present its new products and latest updates. After a busy 2021 edition, the 2022 edition successfully began with the presentation of a prototype of innovative connected glasses.

Google Glass: technological soap opera of the 2010s

In 2011, Google has already caused a stir with its Google Glass project. The goal at the time was to offer a pair of augmented reality glasses. Using a built-in camera, touchpad on one of the two eyepieces, microphone and Internet access via Wi-Fi, the goal was to provide the user with access to all Google features in front of him.

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Google Glass first version

Pair of Google Glass Explorer Edition, 2014. Photo: Tedeytan / Flickr.

Unfortunately, three years later, Google realizes the obvious: the project seems too ambitious for the time and too expensive. There are also other issues: apps aren’t adapted for optimal use of the device, and the privacy of individuals is also compromised because Google Glass users have been able to take photos or photos of anyone without their knowledge.

In January 2015, the sale and production of these eyeglasses were suspended indefinitely. In 2017, it seemed that hope was revived when Mountain View announced that the new Google Glass model would be developed for business, but supported any opportunity at the time to offer a consumer version.

New Google Glass to overcome the language barrier

Fortunately, the idea of ​​offering connected glasses to the general public did not remain. Google has announced a prototype of connected glasses as part of a new version of its Google I / O program. They were presented as part of the video, which explains some of its features.

We see two people speaking, each in his own language. If in everyday life such a situation seems almost unlikely for reasons of understanding the interlocutor, then this is not the case. In fact, these new Google Glass incorporate new technologies (artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms) that allow you to listen to what a person says in order to transcribe and translate their words. Thus, a person who does not understand the language can get an almost instant translation of what is announced by his interlocutor.

Google Glass translation functionality.

Here’s what a person who wears these new Google glasses can see when someone speaks to them in a language they don’t speak. Screenshot: Google / YouTube.

Introducing these connected glasses, Google shows that instant translation and overcoming the language barrier are close topics. Glasses should also be equipped with a camera that will allow deaf and hard of hearing people to talk to people who do not speak sign language. For the latter, the device understands sign language and translates gestures into words.

Several companies have considered instant translation in recent years: Zoom, which acquired Kites, a German startup specializing in the field, or Meta, one of the multilingual machine translation models that has won a prestigious award. .