Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Google is hiring an “Augmented Reality OS” team focused on building software for an “innovative AR device,” according to job listings spotted by 9to5Google. The team is led by Mark Lucovsky, who announced he’d joined the company this week. Lucovsky previously worked at Meta developing an in-house alternative to Android to power the company’s hardware, and also co-authored the Windows NT operating system.
According to Google’s job listings, the Augmented Reality OS team is building “the software components that control and manage the hardware on [its] Augmented Reality (AR) products.” This is far from Google’s first stab at developing AR software, and follows the company’s work on ARCore for Android and Tango. The company’s Google Glass, which is aimed at the business and enterprise market, is currently built on Android.
This morning I became a Noogler. My role is to lead the Operating System team for Augmented Reality at Google.
— mark lucovsky (@marklucovsky) December 13, 2021
“We’re focused on making immersive computing accessible to many people through mobile devices,” reads one job listing for a senior software engineer on the team, adding that they’ll be responsible for helping “create compelling AR experiences on highly-customized hardware platforms.” There are other listings for developers focused on camera and input hardware, and some that mention “real-time operating system (RTOS) development.”
While most of the positions are based in the US, 9to5Google notes that some are based in Waterloo, Canada. It’s here that North, the augmented reality company behind the Focals smart glasses that Google acquired last year, is based.
Between that acquisition and these open job positions, it looks like Google is increasingly serious about developing and releasing more AR hardware. The renewed interest can’t come soon enough, with Apple rumored to be releasing a mixed-reality headset of its own as early as next year.