Meta has shared its latest augmented and virtual reality hardware roadmap with employees, and according to The Verge, it’s planning to launch its first full-fledged AR glasses in 2027. While the company intends to release other AR glasses before then, the device it’s launching in four years’ time is the same one Mark Zuckerberg believes could become Meta’s “iPhone moment.” That is, he thinks it could shake up the industry and could become as popular as the iPhone.
The glasses will reportedly have the capability to project avatars as high-quality holograms superimposed on top of the real world — they’re also expected to be quite expensive. Employees will get the chance to take first crack at testing the device in 2024 before it makes its way to the public as Meta’s “Innovation” line of advanced smart glasses for the earliest adopters.
The company also discussed the other AR and VR devices it’s launching before its full-fledged AR glasses are ready, The Verge says. This fall, it’s apparently releasing a follow-up to Ray-Ban Stories, which it developed in partnership with Luxottica. The Quest 3 headset, which is expected to be twice as thin and as powerful as the Quest 2, will also be available later this year. In 2024, Meta also plans to launch a VR headset codenamed “Ventura,” which it intends to sell “at the most attractive price point in the VR consumer market.”
A year after that, in 2025, Meta plans to launch the third-generation Ray-Ban Stories. It will feature a display called the “viewfinder” designed to view incoming texts, scan QR codes and translate messages to other languages in real time. Users will reportedly be able to control the glasses with hand movements and will eventually be able to type messages using a virtual keyboard. In addition, Meta is developing a smartwatch to go with these particular glasses.
Meta isn’t the only big technology company with plans to launch AR and VR glasses and headsets over the next few years. Apple is believed to be debuting its long-awaited mixed reality headset at WWDC in June. It’s expected to have advanced features, such as dual 4K displays and controller-free input, and to cost as much as $3,000. However, reports suggest that Apple is working on a cheaper version that more people will be able to afford.
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