Hidden code points to Google reviving its AR glasses project

Google Glass was one of the first devices to build augmented reality tech into spectacles, but that device came and went without making much of a real impact. Now it looks like Google is once again interested in this particular product category.

Based on hidden code discovered by 9to5Google in the Google app for Android, there's a new reference to “iris”, as well as to launching Google Assistant with a tap on the right temple – which sounds like a pair of AI specs to us.

Now Project Iris was the codename of the specs that Google briefly showed off at Google I/O in 2022: their main job was to translate dialog spoken in a foreign language into text that would appear before your eyes.

It was only a short demo, and we haven't heard much about the glasses since – except in June of this year, when a report appeared that suggested the project had been shelved. Four months later, it could be back on the table once again.

AR and MR

Considering the brevity of the initial demo, and the lack of official information about these AR specs, we don't have much to go on in terms of what they can do – or indeed why they might have fallen down Google's list of priorities.

We were certainly impressed by what Google showed off last year, but it seems likely that these specs would go beyond instant translation and cover a variety of other features too. We might be talking about everything Google Assistant can do, and then some.

Even while Google has been relatively quiet on this topic – at least since Google Glass Enterprise was discontinued –  the market category continues to trundle on, as our Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses review shows.

We also know that Samsung and Google are currently working on a mixed reality headset to take on the likes of the Meta Quest 3 and the Apple Vision Pro. Based on this report, there could also be something more lightweight in the pipeline again.

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Crysis Remastered announced, reviving one of the best PC games of all time

In what might be the worst kept secret in gaming history, Crysis Remastered has been officially announced by Crytek, with a release window and everything. 

After a whirlwind of leaks, Crytek announced the game, for PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, coming Summer 2020 (June-August for folks in the Southern Hemisphere). Crysis Remastered will be filled to the brim with technological advancements, with software-based ray tracing being chief among them. 

We've reached out to both Crytek and Nvidia about what exactly this means, and will be sure to update this article if we hear back from either company, but it could be a game changer. Most ray tracing found in the best PC games right now is hardware-based, thanks to Nvidia Turing's RT cores that accelerate this computationally heavy workload. 

It's extremely likely that Nvidia's RT cores will still be able to accelerate Crysis Remastered ray tracing, so that's not such a huge deal. The huge news here is that it will open the window to other hardware manufacturers (read: AMD) to easily get ray tracing running on their hardware. 

Crysis with ray tracing is going to be quite the visual delight. The original game, launched way back in 2007, still looks good to this day, so coupled with all the other visual additions, Crysis Remastered could very well end up being 2020's graphics tech showcase. We'll just have to wait and see, though. 

Look at all that juicy tech

No matter what happens, you should just brace yourself for an onslaught of "can it run Crysis" jokes. 

Besides the always-demanding ray tracing, Crysis Remastered is going to be including stuff like volumetric fog and god rays, along with what Crytek is calling "state-of-the-art" depth of field. To someone who doesn't spend their lives surrounded with PC gaming jargon probably won't know what these mean, and that's fine. 

What you need to know is that this will make Crysis Remastered look really good, and may make the title verge more into remake territory rather than the straightforward remasters we're used to. 

Given that Crytek's teaser trailer opens with a bunch of clipped comments about Crysis's legacy as an extremely demanding PC game, we're putting our money on Crysis Remastered taking that legacy back. 

We were finally able to run original Crysis at 4K 60 fps with everything maxed out on an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti – now it's time for Crysis to push that out of reach once more. And, really, we're totally OK with that. 

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