Facebook is 'of course' working on AR glasses, but the technology is not ready for primetime
AR experiences are different from the world of virtual reality, keeping the user in contact with the actual environment around them while “augmenting” objects and actions at many different levels, including visual, auditory, haptic, and olfactory.
Even though the existing AR software practically makes the release of groundbreaking hardware you can use to enhance your life in truly meaningful ways impossible, everyone from Google to Samsung, Apple, and Facebook is working hard to advance both development areas.
After unveiling its controversial first hardware devices, Facebook is no longer playing down its efforts to build a game-changing headset. We’re talking something less gimmicky and more immersive than the Oculus Rift, which Ficus Kirkpatrick, the company’s charismatic AR division head, has just confirmed it will happen... eventually.
Kirkpatrick actually told TechCrunch that “of course” Facebook is working on so-called smart glasses, but unfortunately, the product as envisioned by the social networking giant is still “quite a ways away.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing for Facebook, which needs to significantly improve brand perception and the security of both its in-house software and hardware products before releasing something this consequential.
Until then, the company is obviously conducting “a lot of research”, with plenty of “very talented people” working on different AR and VR-related technologies that could end up playing a big part in “the future of headsets.”
By the way, the end goal is not to get people to “hang out in VR all the time” like in the Ready Player One novel, but simply to create the best possible “escapist, immersive experiences” the human mind can absorb. Also, Facebook wants to keep VR in homes and AR on the go, preparing different use cases for the two technologies that may converge at some level but not morph into one immersive experience to rule them all.