Google's brief smart glasses teaser flew under the radar, but it could mean something big

During its Project Astra demo video, Google snuck in a scene at the end teasing some new AR smart glasses, indicating it might be next to join in the smart glasses game.
Written by Nina Raemont, Associate Editor
Phone looking up Google AR glasses
Screenshot by Nina Raemont/ZDNET

Smart glasses are all the rage in 2024. Amazon has its Echo Frames, Meta has its Ray-Ban smart glasses, and it seems that new brands are unveiling their smart spectacles with each new month of the year. Could Google be next?

Also: Google Glass vs. Project Astra: Sergey Brin on AI wearables and his top use case

Google sneakily teased a pair of nondescript smart glasses at its I/O event in Mountain View, California. During a demonstration of its camera AI assistant, Gemini Live, a video showed someone asking Gemini Live questions as they pointed their phone camera around, like what neighborhood they were in and what objects nearby made sounds. 

Then, the speaker asked Gemini Live where she last saw her glasses. The speaker then picked up the glasses from a desk, put them on, and began to prompt the glasses with similar questions. The smart glasses can apparently do everything Gemini Live on a phone can do.

Gemini Live uses video understanding capabilities developed by Google DeepMind's Project Astra. Project Astra should play a big role in these undisclosed smart glasses, but we won't know for sure until Google details the device. 

Smart glasses are an AI-assisted wearable that can capture photos and videos, play music and podcasts, and even answer your most pressing questions, all through voice prompts.

Also: Why Meta's Ray-Ban Smart Glasses are my favorite tech purchase this year

My colleague Kerry Wan wrote a glowing review of Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses, admitting that he has swapped out his prescription lenses for the AI wearable, and ZDNET's Prakhar Khanna said that the glasses are his favorite tech product of the year in a recent article.

We don't know much more about Google's smart glasses than what's been pulled from this teaser, but they're something we'll definitely be keeping an eye out for.

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