At today’s Oculus Connect 6, Facebook has announced that it’s working on augmented reality (AR) glasses. Details were sparse about what these new AR glasses could do — or what they would look like, but Facebook did confirm that they are part of its push for more social-based virtual reality (VR), and that it will be years before the device is launched.
The announcement comes just a couple of weeks after a report from CNBC said that Facebook was partnering with Ray-Ban maker Luxottica. That report said the glasses were code-named “Orion” and were designed to replace smartphones.
The report indicated that Facebook had been working on its own set of AR glasses behind closed doors for years, though struggles to develop the project had led to them reaching out to partners for help.
Other important features revealed by the report were that the glasses could take phone calls, show information in AR, and livestream using a camera in first-person. The glasses would use a Facebook-create voice assistant for interaction, as well as an experimental ring-shaped device code-named “Argios.”
That report said the glasses would launch sometime between 2023 and 2025, which was confirmed by Facebook’s announcement at Oculus Connect 6.
The move toward AR glasses has been slow, though many companies are working on a similar project. Google Glass may have been too early to the punch, but according to leaks and patents, companies like Samsung and Apple have also had AR glasses in the works for years now. Facebook itself has confirmed that it was working on the project in the past, though we still haven’t heard anything official about its possible features.
The only other AR glasses to have seen any kind of success has been the Snapchat Spectacles 2, which launched in 2018.
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