The company will launch augmented reality glasses next year with Ray Ban
The reality for Mark Zuckerberg is complex, full of problems due to the impact that his social network, Facebook, is proving to have on society. This week, without going any further, several celebrities have decided to go on a content “strike” to protest the little progress in the fight against disinformation and propaganda on their platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
But Zuckerberg has at least the consolation of being able to escape to increasingly realistic virtual worlds. Today, in a non-face-to-face event, it announced a new version of its virtual reality headset, the Oculus Quest 2, which will hit stores on October 13.
This is a huge leap from the current Oculus Quest. From the outset, it has 50% more resolution and a higher refresh capacity (90 Hz), something that will allow users to enjoy greater image definition in virtual worlds. It will also be lighter and more powerful thanks to a chip developed together with Qualcomm.
More interesting, however, is that it will also be cheaper than the current model. It will start at 349 euros for the 64 GB model, 100 euros less than what the previous model cost.
Like the previous version, it is completely independent, it does not need to be connected to a computer. Facebook, in any case, will also have the final version of Oculus Link ready this fall. This software allows you to use Oculus Quest as a virtual reality headset connected to a PC with better graphic features and access to a larger catalog of games that are distributed on other platforms, such as steam.
Six years after acquiring Oculus, Facebook’s strategy begins to consolidate. In addition to glasses, the company has created a whole series of social services around the virtual reality that allows users to interact with each other in common spaces, a possibility that Zuckerberg considers “exciting” in the face of the new reality of the pandemic. Zuckerberg, in fact, has held some executive meetings in recent months using these kinds of virtual settings instead of video conferencing.
The company has gone one step further and recently created a special division to develop new technologies and applications for augmented and virtual reality, Facebook Reality Labs, which will begin to have a more prominent role from 2021.
It will be the date chosen to launch its first augmented reality glasses, which Facebook will develop in collaboration with the sunglasses brand Ray-Ban. The project, for now, is known internally as Project Aria.
Unlike virtual reality cases, these types of glasses are designed to mix the image of the real world with artificial elements and according to Zuckerberg, the model Facebook is working on will have a design very similar to that of conventional glasses.
The social network is not the first company interested in entering this field. Google tried it with Glass a few years ago (and with bad results) and Microsoft has also pushed the idea with Hololens, but in general these are solutions that have only managed to stand out in professional uses. Apple is expected to join next year as well. to the list of competitors.
Workers at Facebook Reality Labs will start using some prototypes this year in Seattle and San Francisco as part of a pilot program to collect data and, according to the company, also assess the social impact that glasses equipped with cameras can have. All Facebook workers will be publicly identified as belonging to the pilot project and will explain to citizens who have doubts about the experiment the different measures that have been taken to safeguard people’s privacy.