Mixed reality (VR/AR) is about to experience an intensification of competition, with the arrival of Apple’s Vision Pro headset and its dedicated OS, visionOS. In response, Google seems to be focusing on a new software platform, dubbed “Betty,” that would look like a dedicated mixed-reality Android.
The mixed reality (VR/AR) industry is about to enter a new era of competition and creativity, with the presentation by Apple of its Vision Pro headset and the announcement of the dedicated operating system, vision OS. While Google seems, for its part, to prepare its counter-offensive with the mysterious Project Iris.
Competition at Apple is organized
With the Vision Pro, Apple not only unveiled a new mixed reality headset but also lifted the veil on visionOS. The latter offers a range of features dedicated to this technology and offers developers tools to create applications optimized for this new environment.
And Google in all this? After the failure of Google Glass and the shelving of Google Cardboard and Google Daydream projects, the Mountain View company chose to acquire North, the Canadian manufacturer of augmented reality glasses. And according to a recent Business Insider post, Google is secretly working on Project Iris, a new mixed reality glasses project.
The first rumors around this Project Iris are from early 2022. Descriptions echoed goggles resembling ski goggles, fitted with a camera system to overlay digital graphics onto the real world, a feature similar to that offered by the Vision Apple pro. At the head of this project, we find Clay Bavor, one of the pioneers of the development of Google Cardboard and Google Daydream.
However, this famous Project Iris would now be on hold. According to information disclosed by Business Insider, Google would have chosen to focus its efforts on the development of a new software platform, internally called “Betty”. Presented as a XR microplatformthis new solution would aim to be in the same vein as Android, being offered under license to other manufacturers.
If few details are currently available about Betty, its existence would be a sign of Google’s desire to take a dominant position in the mixed reality market, offering a proprietary platform used by major hardware manufacturers.
Although the future of mixed reality is still uncertain, it seems that Google is willing to take risks in order not to miss this opportunity, regardless of the chances of success. Apple’s competitors, including Samsung, must respond with a rival to Apple’s operating system. A platform based on Android and that manufacturers could adapt to their liking seems to be the most plausible answer. And it inspires.
The Android vs iOS battle could therefore transpose into the field of mixed reality.
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