Facebook is Allegedly Focusing On a Small AR Headset


Mar 3, 2018
Citing a paywalled report from Business Insider, UploadVR says that Facebook is working on an AR prototype resembling "traditional glasses much more closely than the bulky AR headsets offered by Microsoft (the HoloLens) or Magic Leap." The report also mentions that the company moved "hundreds" of employed from Facebook Reality Labs, which used to be Oculus Research, to a "new team focused on delivering AR products." This seems to coincide with previous rumors from TechCrunch suggesting that Facebook's update to the Oculus Rift successor is more modest than previously planned. Assuming any of these rumors are true, it would seem that Facebook is shifting their focus away from PC VR to standalone headsets.

"They look like really high-end glasses," the source said, adding "i'’s light enough to not feel heavy on your face, and it wasn’t light enough to feel like you could just sit down and break them..." Facebook told Business Insider the decision was made to move AR hardware development "out of research, now that we are closer to shipping". The publication's source claimed that the release was pushed from 2020 to 2022, however Facebook denied this, stating "We have an exciting AR road map that includes multiple products, so your intel on release dates is wrong". It’s unclear whether the reference to "multiple" products means a tiered product lineup (like Go and Quest in the VR market) or simply successor products.
You let Vive get the jump on you, so you go cheap? Nobody said this would be easy. You'll fail with this initiative, too, if you're just looking for a market that you can buy into and then dominate.

Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it makes total sense, maybe there is a vision. I'm still disappointed that the potential of Oculus seemed to dissipate when Facebook bought them out.
Something like this could well become a significant thing in workplaces. I just don't think that even there will people feel comfortable with it being a Facebook product. Their reputation may well be beyond recoverable.
I badly want AR to be a real, practical thing. Not google glass popup notifications. More like hovering diagrams or schematics when I'm in the garage or at the work bench. Tracking parts or screws on a table or determining the needed size of a screwdriver, wrench, etc - this would be awesome. Maybe image recognition that could link back to wikipedia articles - look at something and see an overlay of the wiki info with its top level information.

Facebook will not deliver any of this. I guarantee their vision of AR is going to be ads, links to buy shit, and an excuse to have you wear a connected device that will let them track you (producing data they can then sell).
This makes total sense for Facebook. They sell ads and data about people using its products. VR/PC? Probably not going to be a big revenue generator from product sales, or more importantly - data sales (ads/analytics). FB may have bought Oculus for some patents and its R&D team - who knows if they ever cared about an actual PC product?
AR could let them target more "on the street" business. Creepy - but an included camera might also share with them what people are actually looking at. Add in a microphone, facial/image recognition, already have location info from the app on your phone - you have a perfect data collection tool and a great way to serve you ads.
Most people are either unaware or don't care about privacy anyway - just click the "I agree" button so you can get a few cool animations and clever ways to post to Instagram! It will also be cool when you see cleverly disguised ads pop up in your lenses.
Investor hat on (ok, you can stop laughing as my portfolio is nothing to even discuss): smart product for Facebook. FAANG!
I like this move in the smaller devices. Even at the expense of horsepower. While a good powerhouse VR setup is terrific, it's such a pain in the ass to setup and maintain. Even the PS4 one. There's something to be said for the small painless versions that have you up and running quickly.
Hard pass. FB already knows too damn much about me...I will be damned if I will buy ANYTHING owned by them that has a camera installed on it!
is it bad of me to think this device would probably have a feature that is available to FB so they record video without you knowing it?