Tiny Lasers Could Finally Bring Us Really Smart AR Glasses Post–Google Glass, a new alliance says it has the winning tech

When Google Glass debuted almost a decade ago, augmented reality (AR) wearables seemed poised to take off. Smart glasses let users surf the Internet; access maps, calendars, and other apps; and even call up recipes. Users could simultaneously interact with the physical and digital worlds.

But Google withdrew its smart glasses from the market in early 2015. Several reasons have been given for their demise, including poor marketing, an unattractive design, too many software glitches, and a short battery life.

“The technology Google Glass needed [to succeed]—such as illumination sources, compact projectors and optics, and a whole host of other things—was not mature enough at that time to meet all the requirements of design, performance, and use,” says Bharath Rajagopalan, director of strategic marketing for STMicroelectronics, a multinational semiconductor manufacturer and a leader in microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technologies. “Sometimes when you’re too early to the market, you don’t have all the necessary elements.”

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