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Google Unveils Gemini Updates and Project Astra for Advanced AI Eyewear

  • At I/O 2024, Google introduced Gemini 1.5 Flash and Project Astra, enhancing AI processing speeds and integrating smart glasses for real-life assistance.
  • The announcement coincides with Meta’s upgrades to Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, which now include features like text translation, object identification, and video calling.

At its I/O 2024 developer conference, Google introduced several upgrades across its Gemini family of models – such as 1.5 Flash’s lightweight design for speed and efficiency and Project Astra as an AI assistant vision – including 1.5 Flash, which it announced would provide “faster processing speeds of text, images, audio files, videos, code as well as code itself. Leveraging Gemini which can understand text input as well as images/audio/video files or code in real-time while processing other forms of input such as videos/speech input as well as caching this information efficiently before future recall.

Gemini AI on Google Project Astra (an advanced visual and talking responsive agent), according to Google, can optimize multiple everyday tasks. Wearable Project Astra combines smart glasses with AI technologies for real life assistance according to the company.

Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google DeepMind, noted in his announcement of updates that “while we’ve made incredible progress developing AI systems that can understand multimodal information, getting response time down to something conversational is a difficult engineering challenge. Over the past few years, we’ve been working to improve how our models perceive, reason and converse to make the pace and quality of interaction feel more natural.”

About 10 years ago, Google introduced Google Glass – a wearable Android device with voice and motion controls similar to an eyeglass frame that displayed information directly in front of its wearer’s field of vision. Google officially discontinued production of Enterprise Edition glasses on March 15 2023 while continuing support through September 15, 2023 according to their website.

Google’s Astra announcement coincides with Meta Platforms Inc and EssilorLuxottica unveiling new software features and upgrades to Meta AI as part of a more diverse product assortment for Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses in both North America (U.S./Can). Ray-Ban Meta frames now offer Vision functionality from Meta AI that lets users translate text on signs, identify objects in front of them and write captions for photos – plus video calling capability is now part of smart glasses as a beta feature!

Google announced it has not set an estimated timeline for an anticipated roll out of Project Astra.

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