Facebook is partnering with Luxottica (owner of Ray-Ban, Chanel, Oakley and other brands) on AR glasses nicknamed Orion. According to tipsters, the eyewear would be a promising phone replacement. Orion AR Glasses users will be able to take calls, Livestream to social media followers, and much more. The device will bear functional similarities to Google Glass.
If you’re excited to get your hands on Facebook’s AR Glasses, you’ll have to wait for a mighty long time. According to insider sources, Orion wouldn’t be launched until something between 2023 and 2025. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, reportedly considers the AR Glasses project a priority. The ambitious project will be led by the company’s VP of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth.
AR/VR Future of Facebook
News of Facebook Orion AR Glasses have been making rounds since Zuckerberg’s keynote address at the F8 2018.
In recent years, Facebook has launched Portal and Portal+ devices for Facebook Messenger video calls and conversations with Amazon Alexa. The company is now planning to launch a TV streaming device ahead og the holiday season. This device will be a part of Portal’s growing family of devices. As indicated by rumors, the device will feature a camera and integrated far-field microphones. To keep things under wraps, Facebook founded a dedicated shell company, dubbed MCBP Technologies, LLC to submit all the regulatory filings to the FCC.
Facebook’s hardware team has amplified its focus on AR/VR headsets in 2019. In August, the company announced it was planning to leverage its Oculus Insight camera and tracking technologies in future AR glasses. Today’s announcement is a concrete proof that it is ready to jump into the business of wearable AR glasses.
The hardware team at Facebook is also said to be busy with Agios, a ring-shaped motion sensor that would give users another entry method. Oculus CTO John Carmack suggested Facebook struggled to shrink the technology into a form factor that users would find appealing.
Orion AR Glasses ‘Engineering Challenges’
A collaboration with Luxottica would help Facebook handle its engineering challenges more swiftly. The Italian company has previously worked with Google on Google Glass AR headset. But if the device’s massive failure is any indication then Facebook would surely need to create a form factor that is popular among its core user base.
Facebook is said to have hundreds of employees working on Orion AR Glasses. Incidentally, its neighbor Microsoft is also said to be developing $3,500 HoloLens AR headsets for enterprise use. The device will have improved features in terms of field of view and eye-tracking and controls.
Who do you think will win the AR devices battle? Let us know your thoughts in a comment below.