We all know what it’s like to be interrupted by a phone call or text message. Whether you are focusing on a work task or enjoying your favourite games at All Jackpots online casino, interruptions can be really frustrating. Facebook understands that.
To help with this problem, they’re working on Augmented Reality (AR) glasses. If the project, codenamed Orion by head Facebook’s head office, is successful the possible applications are really exciting.
Teaming Up With Ray-Ban
Does anyone remember the Facebook Phone? This was possibly the biggest product disaster of 2013, even though it had a lot of positive features. Experts say it was ultimately unremarkable, and made no impact on the smartphone industry. Time Magazine even listed it as one of 2013’s “lamest moments in tech”. Naturally, the social media giant is keen to avoid similar mistakes with its AR eyewear. With that in mind, the social media company has enlisted the help of Luxottica.
Luxottica is the parent company of high-end sunglasses brands including Oakley, Persol and Sunglass Hut. The manufacturer has partnered with Facebook to create smart glasses versions of Ray-Bans, one of their most popular brands. Facebook has been working on AR headsets at its Reality Labs in Redmond, Washington for years. However, the company has had significant issues with making the hardware small and comfortable enough for consumers to wear. Enter Luxottica, with an established manufacturing pipeline and sophisticated Ray-Ban eyewear designs.
What Will the Glasses Do?
Ultimately, the eyewear is intended to replace handheld smartphones. You’ll be able to use them to take calls, check information on a small display and livestream your viewpoint to your social media platforms. Messages and notifications would appear in your field of vision. Like we said, no more checking your phone screen while playing casino games or doing anything else! Luxottica partnered with Google in 2014 to design, develop and distribute Google Glass. Although that device was largely unsuccessful, the manufacturer will have learned from its mistakes and should bring valuable experience to Project Orion.
Facebook is also working on a voice assistant with artificial intelligence (AR) that could be used with the spectacles. This would compete with Alexa, Cortana, Siri and Google Assist. You would be able to dictate messages, initiate phone calls, conduct browser searches or activate other apps. The company has also experimented with a ring device, codenamed Agios, which would allow information to be inputted via motion sensors.
Will the Glasses Actually Happen?
We’ve already touched on the embarrassment of the Facebook Phone. With a company as big as the social media pioneer, hundreds of projects are always in development. They can’t all be successful, or even all see the light of day. So how likely is it that the AR glasses will actually launch?
The earliest projected release date is 2023. Insiders working on the project hope to roll out the products by 2025 at the latest. This long lead-time could result in the project being cancelled. However, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is said to have shown special interest.
Apparently, Zuckerberg has even asked Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s AR and VR vice-president and chief of hardware, to prioritise Orion. He’s not the only one to see the potential here; Apple is said to be working on its own headset.
Google continues with Google Glass, although it is currently aimed at professionals only. Microsoft and Snap (Snapchat’s parent company) already retail the Hololens 2 headset and Spectacles glasses respectively. Smaller companies have launched similar products too, so a future with smart glasses seems likely. The question now is which AR eyewear will come out on top?