Facebook has already hinted strongly at its AR ambitions, but the company has now confirmed that it is definitely, unequivocally working on augmented reality glasses.
“Yeah! Well of course we’re working on it,” Facebook’s head of augmented reality Ficus Kirkpatrick told TechCrunch . “We are building hardware products. We’re going forward on this... We want to see those glasses come into reality, and I think we want to play our part in helping to bring them there.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously talked about AR glasses as some sort of end goal. In fact, at last year's F8 the company showed a video featuring a pair of concept AR glasses that let the user see and play a game of virtual chess on their coffee table.
But a pair of Facebook glasses would require even more user trust than its Portal smart speaker , and this year has shown the company needs to do a lot more to earn that trust. Lucky for Facebook, the technology is probably going to take a lot longer to build.
Last year, Oculus VR chief scientist Michael Abrash said it will be "five years at best" before we see widespread, glasses-based augmented reality.
"20 or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we'll wear stylish glasses," he said. "Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between and we'll use them all day."
The First Attempt at a VR Experience – The Sensorama. In the 1950s, a cinematographer by the name of Morton Heilig came up with a unique concept he later developed, known as the Sensorama. Featuring an arcade-style theater cabinet, the sensorama was aimed at stimulating a person’s senses. It featured a stereoscopic 3D display, fans and smell generators, stereo speakers, as well as a vibrating chair. The idea of the Sensorama was to fully immerse a person into a film-like experience. Heilig also went on to create as much as six short movies for his device.
The latest news on Facebook's AR plans comes the same week Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe announced his departure from the company amidst word that Facebook canceled plans for an Oculus Rift 2.