Google announced a new AR glasses prototype. What to make of it?

Whether you deal with VR (virtual reality) or AR (augmented reality) you need to solve three big problems at the same time:

  • Find a real market problem to solve at scale.
  • Build a hardware layer that is powerful enough yet light and portable.
  • Build a powerful and rich software layer to keep early adopters on and grow to mainstream adoption.

Where's the market?

First off, the cold reality is that most problems-to-be-solved by AR or VR have been solved already in niche markets. And all the other use cases that make sense on paper have been tried and tried again for many years to no avail. Distance learning? Surgery? Real-estate visits? Street navigation? Therapy? Nothing sticks.

Let's admit that after two years of pandemic (and counting), if VR business meetings didn't take off, it's that VR doesn't bring much to the table for online collaboration. Like it or not, Zoom and Miro are doing the job without much friction.