Facebook recently told TechCrunch that it is working on its own augmented reality glasses. Following the launch of its Portal smart display, the move signals Facebook could be challenging both Apple and Google to perhaps further rise up in the hardware scene.
Coming roughly a year after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook had no technology and five or seven years needed to build AR glasses, a major change is now brewing. Likely driven by competition from Microsoft’s HoloLens, Magic Leap, and Thalmic Labs, Facebook’s head of augmented reality Ficus Kirkpatrick believes that its AR glasses are something that should come into reality.
“Of course we’re working on it, I think we’ve talked about this publicly at Oculus Connect. We’re doing a lot of research on this stuff, I think the glasses that we dream of are quite a ways away. We have no product to announce right now, but we have a lot of very talented people doing really completing cutting-edge research that we hope plays a part of the future headset,” Kirkpatrick told TechCrunch.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) October 24, 2018
The comments confirm hints and patents from the earlier this year which indicated that a Facebook designed AR headset was in the works. Part of those rumors initially involved job postings and “breakthrough work in computer vision, machine learning, mixed reality, graphics, displays, sensors, and new ways to map the human body.” It also hinted at Facebook was looking to control the entire process of any would be AR headset, down to the chip layer.
Facebook has faced many privacy and security scandals in the past few years, but given the data collection concerns with its first piece of hardware, it still remains interesting to see how the public will take such an AR headset.
The social media giant now also has its own hardware lab and considering Facebook’s ownership of Oculus, there could be some lessons and maybe some cooperation on the software side of the headset. The headset is obviously quite a ways off from now and there is still a lot of development before any real product hits the streets.
Consumers might not even be ready for it, as Google last attempted AR smart glasses in 2013, but things fell flat due to the lack of proper software.