Google Cuts AR Workers as AR Tech Seems Set to Take a Vital Leap

It was one other robust day for the tech sector yesterday, with Google asserting a new round of lay-offs, and slashing lots of of roles from a number of divisions.

As reported by The New York Times, the majority of the cuts had been amongst these engaged on Google Assistant, with the corporate now seeking to re-shape the tool around AI, and cut back some components.

However one other fascinating level of observe was this:

Google said that most of the hardware cuts affected a team working on augmented reality, technology that combines the real world with a digital overlay.

Whereas Apple and Meta are advancing in direction of making AR a much bigger focus, with Apple’s first Imaginative and prescient Professional headsets to go on sale from February 2nd, Google’s now seemingly taking a step again.

May that imply that Google has fallen behind within the AR race, and it’s now conceding that the opposite tech giants have outmoded it?

Amid difficult market situations, the large gamers are being compelled to make some robust calls about their future bets, with Snap Inc. additionally reassessing their longer-term plans because of impacts within the digital adverts sector.

However AR does look set to have an enormous second, within the very close to future, and as such, it’s fascinating to see Google probably deprioritizing it, particularly contemplating the alternatives that it may present for discovery merchandise.

Certainly, over the previous few years, Google has shared a number of glimpses of its potential value in an AR future, and the way digital overlays may complement Google’s core Search merchandise.

Google holiday updates

In 2022, Google even shared an overview of its own, in-development AR glasses, that are nonetheless seemingly in testing.

Google’s additionally been experimenting with numerous new initiatives as a part of its ARCore venture, together with AR video games.

In 2020, Google even partnered with Snapchat for an interactive tackle its ‘Year in Search’ traits overview, and with all of this, it has appeared like AR will probably be a logical extension of Google’s numerous components, and as such, can be a key focus for the corporate transferring ahead.

The newest cuts don’t essentially imply that it gained’t be, however it’s fascinating to contemplate why Google can be scaling again on this space, on the cusp of the following stage of the tech.

Along with the pending Imaginative and prescient Professional launch, which is able to introduce extra individuals to those immersive experiences, Meta’s additionally planning to start real world testing of its AR glasses prototype this year.

With a lot taking place, it might look like Google needs to be digging in, however it’s scaling again as a substitute.

Which appears odd, and naturally, there could also be extra to it that we will’t know. Nevertheless it might be that Google has determined that AR merely gained’t be as huge part of its future plans.

It’ll be fascinating to see the way it all develops, and the way Google seems to combine AR components as they emerge. At one stage, I had speculated that Google might be a suitor for Snapchat, and will enhance its AR performance by acquisition, which may nonetheless be on the playing cards, although given the broader cuts, that does appear unlikely.

Nevertheless it’s fascinating to contemplate what Google’s focus will probably be, and the way it will look to construct across the subsequent tech traits.