Seems quite a few companies are in the march towards the augmented reality interface. The probable and the least invasive being the humble sunglasses. Telepathy started on this whole ride well over five years ago.
Facebook have partnered with Ray-Ban (Luxotica – who makes way more than just Ray-Bans) and a variety of tech brands to build the ‘smart glasses’ system with style. Well….kind of. The prototype seems to take a significant nod from the Wayfarer style popular since it’s inception in the 1950’s. Facebook has suggested a public launch some time in 2021. Likely to be a little later is my prediction.
No doubt with the evolution of technology glasses such as these will become less bulky and almost indistinguishable from a regular pair of glasses as we know them today.
There will be an obvious teething period, both from users and the general public in the uptake of such devices. This was seen in the launch and quick demise of the first iteration of Google Glass. Users dubbed “Glass-holes” with places such as restaurants banning users from entering.
So…what makes these different?
Well….the initial launch see these as more of a intelligent recording/connectivity device versus fully blown augmented reality. No real screen will be incorporated in these glasses. They are more of a step towards AR with Facebook’s experimental project prototype it’s calling Project Aria.
These glasses are more akin to the Amazon Echo frames, which is essentially like wearing Alexa on your face with various companies looking at the integration of multiple senses being incorporated into devices.
There is no doubt the impact this sort of device can have on the world of education, design, connectivity, gaming and more. The kind of Augmented Reality that we see “in the movies” requires a foundational shift in computing technology. One that mirrors the leap from libraries and landlines to personal computers and smartphones.
Let’s hope the curve is a smooth one.
Coming soon to a face near you!