Business Insider is reporting that a trustworthy source has tried on a prototype of the augment reality glasses under development at Facebook. The source says that the prototype is like traditional glasses, much slimmer than the bulky AR headsets offered by Microsoft HoloLens or Magic Leap.
“They look like really high-end glasses,” the source said, adding “it’s light enough to not feel heavy on your face, and it wasn’t light enough to feel like you could just sit down and break them.”
Facebook AR Product Team
The report says that “hundreds” of employees were changed from Facebook Reality Labs, formerly Oculus Research, to a new Facebook team that focus on delivering AR products. The team is lead by Michael Abrash and Andrew Bosworth. Abrash will also continue lead Facebook Reality Labs as the Chief Scientist.
Facebook told Business Insider the AR hardware development is now out of research stage, now that they are getting closer to shipping.
The source claimed that the release was delayed from 2020 to 2022, yet Facebook denied this claim, stating they have an exciting AR road map that includes multiple products, so the rumor release dates is wrong.
It’s still unclear whether this glasses reference to “multiple” products means a tiered product lineup (like Oculus Go and Quest in the VR market) or simply successor products.
Facebook’s Past Comments
Since acquisition of Oculus in 2014, Mark Zuckerberg has been wanting to launch AR hardware in the future.
In 2016 the Zuckerberg told The Verge that AR would possibly be where VR is at in 5 to 10 years, but confirmed that Oculus was researching and developing VR.
Zuckerberg was more specific in a 2017 interview with Recode, stating:
“I think everyone would basically agree that we do not have the science or technology today to build the AR glasses that we want. We may in five years, or seven years, or something like that. But we’re not likely to be able to deliver the experience that we want right now.”
In October last year, Facebook’s Head of AR, Fiscus Kirkpatrick, directly confirmed that the company was working on augmented reality glasses in an interview with TechCrunch.
Oculus Connect 5
At Oculus Connect 5 last year, Chief Scientist Michael Abrash gave a detailed presentation on his thought on the future prospects of AR and VR. During his talk, Abrash revealed that Facebook’s investment in AR research had ramped up a great deal in the past two years.
Abrash reports that since no-off-the-shelf display technology was good enough for AR, the company had to develop a proprietary display system.
Abrash did provide some specific details on what the company was targetting in terms of form factor, that is, no more than 70 grams weight and dissappating less than 500 milliwatts.
In comparison, Magic Leap One weighs over 300 grams. Like Magic Leap, Abrash stated that the glasses would need to require a companion device for processing, such as a smartphone or pack.
VR Porn Times would be curious to follow up to see what applications will be available in the future to display augmented reality porn.