Since Facebook bought Oculus, it has been clear that the company has an interest in immersive technology, and more recent developments have shown that Facebook is involved in augmented reality (AR) as well as virtual reality (VR), now the company has confirmed it is working on AR smart glasses.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Facebook Head of Augmented Reality Ficus Kirkpatrick confirmed that AR smart glasses were instead a product that Facebook was involved in creating.
“Yeah! Well of course we’re working on it,” Kirkpatrick said, “We are building hardware products. We’re going forward on this. We want to see those glasses come into reality, and I think we want to play our part in helping to bring them there.”
It is unknown if the product in development is related to the patent for AR glasses that described as ‘waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner’. Kirkpatrick admitted that there was currently no product available for demonstration, suggesting that it is either still in the design phase, or in extremely early prototyping.
One of the most recent Facebook products, the Facebook Portal was described as a device for enhanced video calling, but the ‘always on’ nature of the devices combined with its camera and microphone were quickly met with privacy concerns, with many experts and consumers concerned about how the data gathered by the devices would be handled. The introduction of AR smart glasses would likely be met with similar concerns.
The creation of AR smart glasses has been a known goal for Facebook since at least April 2017, when Mark Zuckerberg detailed the vision the company had for AR: “We all know where we want this to get eventually, we want glasses,” but explained, “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.” He added that “We can’t build the AR product that we want today, so building VR is the path to getting to those AR glasses.”
For future coverage on Facebook’s for in AR and VR, keep checking back with VRFocus.