The finest efforts of Silicon Valley have so far fallen short when it comes to AR glasses. This is a market segment that has failed to gain traction, whether it’s due to a lack of features, the need of a smartphone connection, or the presence of large, bug-eyed designs. Despite this, a fresh rumour indicates that Facebook/Meta is aiming to produce its own AR glasses by 2024.
According to a former Meta employee who spoke to The Verge, “Zuck’s ego is interwoven with [the glasses]. In other words, he wants it to be a moment captured on his iPhone. Here’s what we currently know.
The rumoured pricing and availability of Meta AR Glasses
Project Nazare, presently dubbed by The Verge, is Facebook’s intention to begin selling AR glasses in 2024. Codenamed Hypernova, this version of the spectacles may be available at a reduced price point by 2024.
Given “several thousand dollar bill of materials,” Verge reports that Meta AR glasses will cost more than Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets, even if price is yet unclear. At this point, sales expectations are minimal.
According to reports, Facebook/Meta expects developers and early adopters to be the primary audience for its first-generation glasses. “Tens of thousands” of first-generation glasses are expected to be sold, but “tens of millions” are expected to be sold by the year 2020.
As is typical in the automotive industry, newer, lighter versions will be introduced in around two years. They might come as early as 2026 if the present launch plans are followed. The third iteration is expected around 2028.
Design and characteristics of meta-AR glasses
However, it is claimed that the first generation Meta Glasses feature a wireless “phone-shaped” gadget that can manage part of the computer power.
There’s a “socially acceptable design” for the standalone variant, which is supposed to have a weight of only 100 grams/3.5oz. They are claimed to resemble Clark Kent’s (Christopher Reeve) spectacles from the first Superman films.
In terms of the displays, it seems that Facebook has gone all in. MicroLED projectors and stereo audio are integrated into the frame of each display. Eye tracking and outward-facing cameras are reportedly rumoured for the glasses, which isn’t going to sit well with many users given Facebook’s poor record on privacy.
The field of vision (FOV) of the glasses, on the other hand, is said to be less than 70 degrees. The Oculus Quest 2’s field of view (FOV) is around 89 degrees, whereas the Valve Index VR headset has a FOV of up to 130 degrees. A four-hour battery life and an indoor-only design have been reported for these devices.
It is possible that the glasses will come with wristbands that can be used to control the spectacles.
There doesn’t seem to be anything the glasses can’t accomplish. The glasses’ first function, according to Mark Zuckerberg, seems to be a holographic video calling option. That implies augmented reality users will be able to see the person they’re conversing with, or at least their avatar, in front of them. The goal is to make the experience more immersive than FaceTime.
A look at the development of Meta AR Glasses
This isn’t unexpected, given the ongoing spat over ad tracking between Apple and Facebook/Meta. The firm would be allowed to operate according to its own regulations instead of those of a different platform if it became independent. Whatever the case may be, this is the way it is.
According to Zuckerberg, staff call him the “Eye of Sauron” because of his excessive zeal for the project. Even if the CEO stated it originated from a place of love, it’s possible he didn’t understand The Lord of the Rings.
Virtual reality spectacles would also be a significant step forwards for Microsoft’s metaverse aspirations, because they don’t need users to wear headsets that isolate them from the outside world.
Of course, this isn’t Facebook’s first foray into smart glasses. Last year, Facebook and Ray Ban announced a pair of smart sunglasses, but they lacked any augmented reality or virtual reality features.
In a battle of AR goggles, Meta vs Apple
According to reports, the Facebook glasses will face fierce competition. It’s no secret that Apple is a major fan of augmented reality, and several reports have circulated about the company’s upcoming release of Apple Glasses.
Even though Apple’s augmented reality glasses are supposedly meant to appear and feel like normal spectacles, they aren’t expected to be an independent device. Reportedly, they’ll connect wirelessly to an iPhone or other Apple device instead.
The Apple Glasses project, on the other hand, seems to be moving slowly. To give developers and users more time to get used to augmented reality as a medium, Apple is allegedly unveiling an Apple AR/VR headset ahead of Apple Glasses.
According to recent speculations, the headgear would not be available until 2023 as a result of supply chain and development challenges. Assuming if Apple can overcome the technical challenges, the Apple Glasses won’t arrive until some time in the future.
Along with the obvious problem of Meta’s lack of brand awareness. In addition to selling millions of products each year, Apple has a strong reputation for protecting the privacy of its customers. The Apple Glasses, on the other hand, are anticipated to enhance the usefulness of existing gadgets, which will entice potential buyers.
Facebook, also known as Meta, is not Apple. In recent years, its image has taken a turn for the worst because of many privacy incidents. For those who plan on carrying a camera-equipped gadget about, this is a crucial consideration.
Oculus, Facebook’s virtual reality platform, may be used to create augmented reality experiences. Even though Oculus headsets are much more specialised than the iPhone, this provides it a substantial edge over the latter.
Glasses with a view: Meta AR
It’s time for tech firms to give augmented reality glasses another go after the likes of Google Glass. Even while there’s a plan, the specs seem to go farther than just displaying alerts in front of you. The only issue is whether or if corporations like Facebook and Meta can make it happen..
Even if the year 2024 seems far-fetched now that it is just two years away, Facebook has a proven track record of placing compelling material in front of people’s eyes. When combined with Mark Zuckerberg’s passionate excitement for the idea, it provides hope for the company’s future.
There is just one issue remaining: whether or not customers will notice. If you’re expecting sluggish adoption, you’re right, but people need a compelling reason to buy and wear something new, particularly if it’s pricey. Without a large user base, Facebook lacks the same benefits as Apple, and it will be a difficult to encourage people to use it.
We’ll keep you updated as soon as we can. Check out the greatest VR headsets and the top Oculus Quest 2 games and experiences while you wait.