Facebook has a huge share of investment in virtual reality, most prominently in its ownership of Oculus. Although, Facebook the social media giant has confirmed that it’s working on augmented reality glasses, too, according to TechCrunch.
“Yeah! Well of course we’re working on it,” commented Facebook’s head of augmented reality Ficus Kirkpatrick to TechCrunch. “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.”
This is the clearest confirmation we’ve received yet from Facebook about its plans for AR glasses. The product could be Facebook’s opportunity to own a mainstream computing device on which its software could run. This will be possible after a decade of being beholden to smartphones built, controlled and taxed by Apple and Google.
It’s an interesting vision for the company, which has come under fire for a series of security breaches. It has been hard to comprise personal information for millions of its users due to its security breaches. Facebook Portal, the company’s first in-house hardware device was being sold under the Facebook name. Unfortunately, this has seen a rather chilly reception in the tech world as a result. Given the company’s shoddy track record, it’s hard to imagine people lining up to add a Facebook camera to their home that advertises its ability to track you anywhere in a room.
In depth about the Glasses
Technological progress and competition seems to have sped up Facebook’s timetable. Back in April 2017, Mark Zuckerberg said, “We all know where we want this to get eventually, we want glasses.” However, he went on to say that “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 explained that “We can’t build the AR product that we want today. Hence, building VR is the path to getting to those AR glasses.” The company’s Oculus division had talked extensively about the potential of AR glasses. Yet they similarly characterized them as far off.
Augmented reality glasses would be asking for an even more personal lens into your life. But, Facebook will have to work hard to earn the sort of trust required to do so. This is possible assuming the technology gets to the point where a consumer product becomes viable. It’s doubtful that whatever Facebook is currently developing is the seamless AR glasses that Zuckerberg is describing here. It’s just too early for that. But by his own timetable, Facebook still has eight more years to get there.