With the social media giant Facebook recently changing its brand to Meta and Microsoft building metaverse inside MS Teams, it is clear that Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will power the next technology revolution. Major tech firms, including Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc’s, Google, Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Snap Inc, have raced to develop various smart glasses products to stay competitive in this rapidly market. Facebook, too unveiled its smart glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban this year.
How has Facebook built a differentiation in this market?
Priced at $299, Facebook glasses use EssilorLuxottica SA-owned Ray-Ban’s popular Wayfarer frame, making them super comfortable and stylish for the users. The glasses don’t look very different from the classic Ray-Bans to the naked eye. But it comes with an array of smart features:
- Dual 5-megapixel camera sensors.
- Embedded Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi to synchronize with a phone.
- A battery.
- Enough storage for 500 pictures.
It allows users to take photos and video, listen to music and answer phone calls.
Using these glasses, users can snap photos or record videos and share them directly on their social media handles. The glasses have a physical switch on the inside to turn off the capture features and flashes an LED light on the front at the time of recording to let people know they are being recorded or photographed, protecting the privacy of the individuals.
They come with a touch area for controlling music, a voice assistant and calls. A user can swipe left or right to adjust volume, tap to play, pause and skip music, or double-tap to answer and end phone calls. Users need to connect their iPhones/Android mobile phones via Bluetooth and Facebook View app to set up and manage these glasses. They can operate for up to six hours with moderate use and come with charging pods.
The future of Facebook Smart Glasses
Though the stylish Facebook Glasses do not support AR technology, Facebook plans to embed that functionality soon. The work on the same is being carried out under the name “Project Aria.” These AR glasses are being designed to build overlay navigational and personally relevant data atop a user’s live views of reality. Using these glasses, people can locate objects and destinations without glancing at smartphones or other mapping solutions. The glasses will also create an AR-generated hologram of people the users are talking to, delivering an immersive and real-to-life interactions experience. The project also includes a collection of different AR technologies, such as wearable wrist controllers and audio control that allow users real-world filtering of ambient noises.
Though Facebook AR glasses are still at a nascent stage of development, they are a giant leap in the wearable HMD market and will play a critical role in Facebook’s Metaverse vision.