Google is pulling the plug on its "Project Iris" augmented-reality glasses, according to Insider. Google now says it will write AR code instead of hardware. It's building a "micro XR" platform it could license to other headset manufacturers, much like how Google provides Android to a broad ecosystem of phones.
If any hardware arrives Google will not create it by itself. In February, Google, Samsung, and Qualcomm made an incredibly vague announcement about how the three companies were partnering together on a new mixed reality platform, and while we've heard nothing meaningful about it since, Insider's sources say that Google's goggles "were actually the foundations" of the upcoming Samsung headset.
Project Iris was plagued by layoffs and shifting strategies during development, and Google's head of VR/AR Clay Bavor notably left the company four months ago.
Kurt Akeley, a distinguished engineer who we reported was attached to the project, is now listed as "retired" on his LinkedIn page. Two others are still listed as being involved with AR, including Mark Lucovsky, the company's senior director of operating systems for AR.