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Google Is Joining Facebook & Apple In The Metaverse – Android Headlines

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Google is working on a new AR headset called “Project Iris”.
This news comes from The Verge, who has spoken with a few people familiar with the matter. This news is not exactly surprising, as Apple is rumored to be launching a couple of different AR headsets this year. And as the war for the Metaverse heats up, Google does not want to be left behind – like it has with messaging.
In September, there were some hints of Google working on an “Augmented Reality OS”, so there have been some hints of this being in the works.
According to the report from The Verge, this is not a glasses form factor. Instead, you’ll be looking at a screen with the current early prototype, sort of like ski goggles. It does have an internal battery and does not need to be tethered to work.
Interestingly, it is running on a “custom Google processor” similar to the Pixel 6, and Google’s own servers. Of course, that is not a surprise, since Google’s hardware head, Rick Osterloh said last year that Tensor is “a perfect foundation for making big improvements in AR”.
For now, Iris runs Android, but that could change in the future. Since Google is already hiring a number of positions for the new OS it is working on.
The report also notes that Google wants to ship the unit in 2024. So that’s about two years away, meaning it’s still in the early stages. Work on this headset has began to ramp up in recent months.
As of now, it’s unclear whether this device is going to be Pixel-branded or not, as there is no “clearly defined go-to-market strategy”. However, the “Pixel team is involved in some of the hardware pieces”. So it is possible that it could end up being a Pixel-branded AR headset.
Currently, there are 300 employees working on this headset, with hundreds more being hired in the future. Google is being very secretive here. As Iris is being built in the Bay Area at a separate building which “requires special keycard access and non-disclosure agreements.” Perhaps unsurprising, but Google’s AR/VR head, Clay Bavor is overseeing the project, as part of Google Labs.
Copyright ©2022 Android Headlines. All Rights Reserved.
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]
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Facebook parent Meta launches startup accelerator with India’s IT ministry in metaverse push – TechCrunch

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Meta Platforms is looking at India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem as it bolsters its bet on the metaverse. The social juggernaut has partnered with the Indian IT Ministry’s startup hub to launch an accelerator in the country to broaden innovation in emerging technologies, including augmented reality and virtual reality, officials said Tuesday.
MeitY Startup Hub and Meta’s effort, called XR Startup Program, will work with 40 early-stage startups and help them in research and development and developing workable products and services. Each startup will also receive a grant of over $25,000, the American giant said.
The program, supported by Meta’s $50 million XR Programs and Research Fund, will initially hand pick 80 startups to attend a bootcamp. It will also help startups with finding customers, inking relationships and raising funds, Meta said.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said the program is especially aimed at helping encourage technology innovation in smaller cities and towns.
The XR Startup Program is the latest of Meta’s growing participation in the South Asian market’s upskilling efforts. The firm, whose Facebook and WhatsApp services identify India as their largest market by users, partnered with Central Board of Secondary Education, a government body that oversees education in private and public schools in the country, to launch a certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being, and augmented reality for students and educators in the country.
The program — to be implemented by four Indian institutions, including IIT Delhi — will also host a “grand challenge” for innovation in categories including education, healthcare, entertainment, agritech, climate action, sustainability and tourism, the American giant said.
“India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India’s tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse,” said Joel Kaplan, VP of Global Policy at Meta, in a statement.
Meta’s interest with working with startups in India is also not newly found. The company has backed three startups in the country, including social commerce platform Meesho and online education group Unacademy.
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“India’s rapid tech adoption combined with a vast pool of tech talent puts the country in a vantage position for shaping the future of the internet,” said Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India, in a statement.
“For this future to be equitable, it will require active participation from all stakeholders, including developers, businesses, creators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. We are excited to collaborate with MeitY Startup Hub and hope that the XR Startup Program will act as a catalyst to unlock the use of immersive technology across sectors like education, healthcare, agritech and tourism, not only in India but across the globe.”

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