Facebook’s parent company Meta is implicitly planning the first release of their Star Trek-style smart glasses in 2024.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg has long talked about his ambition to create a virtual world where people can work, socialize and play, and his company’s long-awaited AR glasses are just part of that vision.
A former employee who has worked on the project said Zuckerberg wants the launch of the glasses to be Meta’s ‘iPhone moment’.
They do not have to be paired with an iPhone or Android phone to work, which means that Meta could come out under the thumb of Apple and Google, which together dictate the conditions that apps like Facebook must comply with on mobile phones.
Facebook’s parent company Meta is implicitly planning the first release of their Star Trek-style smart glasses in 2024. The company has previously partnered with Ray-Ban to launch a range of smart glasses that have two hidden cameras (pictured)
Founder Mark Zuckerberg has long talked about his ambition to create a virtual world where people can work, socialize and play, and his company’s long-awaited AR glasses are just part of this vision
What is the meta-verse?
‘Metaverset’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can play, work and communicate with other people who are not in the same physical space as you.
Facebook explained: ‘You will be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more.
‘It’s not necessarily about spending more time online – it’s about making the time you spend online more meaningful.’
While Facebook leads the meta-verse, it explained that it is not a single product that a business can build on its own.
“Just like the Internet, the meta-verse exists, whether Facebook is there or not,” it added.
‘And it will not be built from one day to the next. Many of these products will only be fully realized over the next 10-15 years. ‘
Meta reportedly wants to release more generations of AR glasses, with the first model coming out in 2024, followed by a lighter, more advanced design for 2026, and a third version in 2028.
Insiders who were not authorized to speak in public told The Verge that the venture was called Project Nazare.
Meta declined to comment for the report.
‘Zucks ego is intertwined with [the glasses]’said a former employee.
Meta does not yet have a working, portable prototype of its AR glasses, but instead has a desktop demonstration sitting on a table.
Despite this, and the fact that the avatar demonstrations during Zuckerberg’s previous Meta presentation were not based on any working hardware or software, the CEO reportedly wants the glasses to be launched within two years.
He ultimately bets that the meta-verse, a futuristic idea of virtual environments where users can work, socialize and play, becomes the successor to the Internet.
Not only that, but the AR glasses – reminiscent of the fictitious high-tech visor that Geordi La Forge wears in TV’s Star Trek – are seen as a potential death blow to the smartphone.
This is because Meta’s Nazare does not need a connection to a smartphone, but will instead connect wirelessly to a phone-shaped device that will include computer elements.
It is understood that a cheaper device may also be launched along with Nazare called Hypernova, which will need a binding to a smartphone to display messages and announcements.
One of the key features will be the ability to communicate and interact with holograms of other people through the glasses, which Zuckerberg believes will eventually give people a more immersive experience than video calling.
He also wants Nazare to offer a complete AR experience and rich 3D graphics along with a large field of view and a ‘socially acceptable design’.
In addition to cameras mounted in the upper corners of frames, smart Ran Ban smart glasses include an array of three microphones to ‘provide rich voice and audio transmission for calls and videos’
A former Meta employee who has been working on the project said Zuckerberg wants the launch of the new AR glasses ‘to be an iPhone moment’
They do not have to be paired with an iPhone or Android phone to work, which means that Meta could come out under the thumb of Apple and Google, which together dictate the conditions that apps like Facebook must comply with on mobile phones
Meta reportedly wants to release more generations of AR glasses, with the first model coming out in 2024, followed by a lighter, more advanced design for 2026, and a third version in 2028. The picture shows Meta’s vision of playing virtual chess on a real table with someone’s avatar
However, despite initial hopes in order for it to boast a 70-degree field of view – far wider than what is on the market at the moment – it is reportedly unlikely that that goal will be met.
The current design, which at 100g weighs about four times as much as a typical pair of glasses, is said to ‘look a bit like Superman’s black frame when disguised as Clark Kent’.
Its current battery life is only four hours and the glasses are intended to be used mostly indoors.
The first model will also have eye-tracking movements, a front-facing camera and stereo speakers in the frame.
Ultimately, Meta is said to want to pair the AR glasses with portable devices that you put on your wrist, while gadgets could also read a person’s thoughts so they can type and perform other movements that would otherwise require a smartphone screen.
Meanwhile, Apple also happens to be working on such AR devices and plans to introduce mixed reality glasses in late 2022 or early next year.
Meta has already spent billions of dollars developing its AR glasses, but is expected to expect modest sales of its first version, perhaps in the low tens of thousands.
Because the technology is so new, it will mostly be aimed at developers.
A price point has also not yet been set, but it will be much more expensive than Meta’s $ 299 (£ 227) Quest VR headset because of how much the glasses cost to make.
This means that Zuckerberg will probably have to subsidize the price of the glasses to encourage adoption.
Metas VP of AR, Alex Himel, has told employees that the company – along with Nazare, Hypernova and future versions of the Ray-Ban camera-fitted glasses it recently introduced – hopes to sell tens of thousands of smart glasses by the end of this decade.
Meta builds ‘the world’s fastest AI SUPERCOMPUTER’: Powerful device that will help Facebook transform into a ‘metaverse’ will be ready by mid-2022
Meta is building ‘the world’s fastest AI supercomputer’ to help Facebook in its transformation into a ‘metavers’, it announced today.
The new supercomputer, called the AI Research SuperCluster (RSC), will be the fastest supercomputer in the world, according to the technology giant, when completed by mid-2022.
RSC will pave the way for building technology for ‘the next big computer platform’ – the meta-verse.
Facebook (the company, not the product) renamed itself Meta in October, as part of its long-term project to turn its social media platform into a metaverse.
In the future, the social media platform will be available in the meta-version using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets and smart glasses.
According to Meta, RSC will help its researchers build better AI models that can work across hundreds of different languages, develop new AR tools, and seamlessly analyze text, images, and video simultaneously.
This could enable new AI systems that can provide real-time voice translations to large groups of people in the meta-verse, each speaking a different language, so they can seamlessly collaborate on a research project or play an AR game together.