Meta has shared its latest roadmap for augmented and virtual reality hardware with employees, and according to The Verge, it plans to release 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 is the one that Mark Zuckerberg thinks could be Meta’s “iPhone moment. That is, he believes it can shake up the industry and become as popular as the iPhone.
The glasses will reportedly have the ability to project avatars as high-quality holograms superimposed on the real world — they’re also expected to be quite expensive. Employees will get the chance to test the device in 2024 before it goes 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 is launching before the full-fledged AR glasses are ready, The Verge says. This fall, it is apparently releasing a follow-up to Ray-Ban Stories, which it developed in collaboration 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 have a screen called “seeker” designed to see incoming texts, scan QR codes and translate messages into other languages in real time. Users will reportedly be able to control the glasses with hand gestures and will eventually be able to type messages using a virtual keyboard. In addition, Meta is developing a smart watch that fits exactly these glasses.
Meta isn’t the only big tech company with plans to launch AR and VR glasses and headsets in the next few years. Apple is believed to debut its long-awaited mixed reality headset at WWDC in June. It is expected to have high-end features, such as dual 4K displays and controller-free input, and 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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