Is Facebook Building Its Own Augmented Reality Glasses?

Sep 23, 2020

2 min read

Facebook is reportedly working on its own augmented reality glasses.

Facebook has been working to build its own augmented reality glasses for the past few years. According to CNBC, these glasses (codenamed “Orion”) won’t be supplemental to your phone — they’re supposedly built to replace it entirely.

This project is very ambitious. They will reportedly be able to take calls without being tethered to a smartphone and will show information in “a small display,” which sounds similar to Google Glass. The glasses are also said to have a camera that can allow users to live stream their journeys to followers and friends.

Further, Orion glasses will house their own Alexa-like virtual assistant. CNBC also says Facebook and co. are considering a touch-sensitive connected ring that could feed input to the glasses.

CNBC stated that Facebook partnered with popular eyewear brand Luxottica, makers of Ray-Ban glasses, to bring them to market in the next few years, possibly between 2023 and 2025.

A recent post by The Information claims that Ray-Ban will be directly involved, but the fruits of its collaboration with Facebook won’t be seen on “Orion,” but on a completely different set of smart glasses, codenamed “Stella.”

Facebook’s implementation could be new. The company is said to be working on Agios, a ring-shaped motion sensor that would help with physical input, as well as a voice assistant that could process text-to-speech output and speech-to-text inputs for the wearer.

In its technical blogs, the company suggested that actually getting the hardware to a practically wearable size was a major challenge, and Oculus CTO John Carmack suggested that the company hadn’t even tried to shrink the technology into an unacceptably large form factor.

Right now, it’s so early in the process that it’s impossible to guess what the final form of the glasses may be, although Zuckerberg reportedly told his team to prioritize their development.

Additionally, If the names are accurate, it’s not immediately obvious how they were chosen. Orion is the great hunter and a constellation with a famous belt, while Agios is Greek for saint or sacred.

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