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Google’s AR project shows what real-world subtitles could look like

Is this the next iteration of Google Glass?

google glasses on a woman's face illustrating that they are translating from mandarin chinese to english in real time
Image: Google

Google I/O 2022 has been filled with new products and updates, but one big piece of tech softly flowed onto the screen at the end and was missed by many. That was a potential Google Glass successor, with a compelling use case.

Google Glass was an early attempt at ambient augmented reality (AR). It used a small projector and prism to float information in your field of view, but it never really caught on.

People just weren’t ready for it in 2013, and the underlying tech like batteries and AI weren’t quite there. But technology has improved and now, nearly a decade later, AR is a hot topic.

Apple is all-in, Meta wants you to live in the virtual world, and the tech is definitely there. The conditions are right for Google Glass, and Google is testing the waters again.

Instead of brash events and statements, the company chose to highlight a use case instead, with what could be another Google Glass headset.

The use case is an extremely useful one – live translation. Using the company’s natural language processing, Mandarin Chinese was translated in real-time, and English subtitles were projected through the AR glasses.

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No flashy presentation, no hype, just the product in use. It’s so simplistic that it’s powerful, and I can’t wait. I have some sensory processing issues, especially where language is concerned, and being able to subtitle the real world is a game-changer for me.

Google, when you get enough interest to restart the Glass program, I’m all in. Even in the prototype stages, this is something I’ve always wanted to enhance my life.

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