AR / VR: Facebook shows its muscles!

Thanks to its Oculus products, Facebook is one of the main players in the field of virtual reality. And this week, the company is giving a preview of its prototypes, via posts from Mark Zuckerberg and Andrew Bosworth, the boss of the company’s AR / VR division (and soon to be CTO or chief technology officer.

“I spent the day with the Facebook Reality Labs research team in Redmond to demonstrate our next-generation virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence technology.”, wrote Mark Zuckerberg in a post.

Zuckerberg AR VR

© Mark Zuckerberg

This is accompanied by a photo in which the boss of Facebook wears a helmet that looks a lot like the Oculus Quest. However, according to Zuckerberg, it is a prototype that displays a “retinal” resolution, on which the human eye should therefore not distinguish the pixels.

For his part, Andrew Bosworth shared a photo of another prototype with a design that seems lighter and which, according to The Verge, is reminiscent of an alleged Apple prototype that was leaked. It could be a helmet allowing both virtual reality and augmented reality.

« […] excited to get a glimpse of some of the technologies that will underpin the metaverse (we are working on several prototype helmets to prove concepts, this is one of them ”, we read in his tweet.

Unfortunately, these publications provide few details. But in any case, the message is clear: Facebook is preparing new products and its research in the field of virtual reality and augmented reality is advancing.

The timing may not be trivial. Recently, a future HTC Vive virtual reality headset leaked onto the web, when the launch of it is imminent.

Moreover, after the publication of Andrew Bosworth, an executive of HTC offered to exchange the prototype of Facebook with a final product that has just left the factory. Bosworth declined the offer.

And Magic Leap, a company specializing in augmented reality, recently announced a raise of $ 500 million, as well as the arrival of new AR glasses.

Facebook wants to control the platforms on which its services are used

Not having been able to take advantage of the shift towards smartphones, Facebook is now dependent on the platforms of Apple and Google, on which its services are used. And the company doesn’t want to make the same mistake, when AR / VR products replace smartphones.

Indeed, for Mark Zuckerberg, in a few years, augmented reality glasses will replace smartphones. And when that moment arrives, Facebook will be well positioned.

But while waiting for the release of its first augmented reality glasses, Facebook offers virtual reality headsets, as well as its glasses developed with Ray-Ban.

These are simple connected glasses, without augmented reality. However, for Facebook, this is a first step “towards full augmented reality glasses”.

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