Google has spent more than $1 billion on its own smart glasses project, but rival Apple is leading the way with a $600 million bet on the glasses, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The bet, which will be disclosed Thursday, is expected to create a lucrative new market for Apple, according the person, who asked not to be identified discussing the matter publicly.
The $600M investment, which Google confirmed on Wednesday, is one of a series of bets made by the tech giant, which is aiming to build an array of devices that compete with its own glasses and to offer the widest variety of applications for the glasses.
Google’s own smart-glasses project, announced in 2016, was aimed at helping it tap into the growing market for augmented reality glasses that Google is trying to bring to market.
Google bought a minority stake in the project and has invested more than a half billion dollars in the industry.
Its glasses project was initially expected to launch in 2020, but a series a smaller number of companies have launched devices in the market.
The glasses have a camera that captures images using light from the eyes and uses artificial intelligence to figure out which of the participants are in focus and whether the participant can see in the right place.
The system uses computer vision to determine the appropriate location for each participant.
Apple’s smart glasses initiative has been in development since the late 2020s, when it first announced a $300 million bet with Samsung on the technology.
Google is not the only tech company trying to build its own wearable smart glasses.
The tech giant is working on a set of glasses that it says will be cheaper than competitors, but it hasn’t said when the devices will launch.
Google announced its own AR-based glasses initiative in 2016.
The Google Glass team said in its announcement that the smart glasses are the first step toward making augmented reality a reality, but the project is still in its early stages.