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Patent shows Facebook is working on its AR smartglasses

A patent application filed by the Oculus division of Facebook reveals that the latter is working on AR powered smartglasses. The patent application is titled “waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner” and puts “computer generated elements” over a real world background. The display could be inside a frame used for eye-wear in a way that “presents media to a user’s eyes.” Sounds like the definition of AR-powered smartglasses to us.

TimeOdd Stories - Facebook AR SmartGlass1
TimeOdd Stories – Facebook AR SmartGlass1

The patented display uses waveguide technology, allowing a wave of light to be guided through the lens. The display will be able to show video and images while audio would be handled by speakers or a headphone. Former Piper Jaffray tech analyst Gene Munster sees Apple launching its smartglasses by 2019, and predicts that the glasses will soon thereafter replace the iPhone in popularity. That is pretty much the same timeline that Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash is calling for. He doesn’t see the specs replacing smartphones until 2022.

20 or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphoneseverywhere, we’ll wear stylish glasses. Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between, and we’ll use them all day.”-Michael Abrash, chief scientist, Oculus

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls VR and AR the next big computing platforms. That is similar to how Apple CEO Tim Cook feels about both, although Cook seems partial to AR. Zuckerberg also sees the glasses replacing smartphones and even PCs down the road. Facebook bought Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion.

It seems that either smartglasses themselves are getting more mature, or the public is ready to accept the device following the failure of Google Glass to make much headway among consumers. Now used in manufacturing, Google Glass just might have tried to connect with consumers a little too early for the device to succeed in that niche.

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Written by TimeOdd

TimeOdd is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.



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