(Pocket-lint) – Facebook-owned Meta has been transparent about its belief in the metaverse, including that augmented reality devices will play a key role. But now a new report has claimed the company is secretly working on its first pair of AR glasses, as part of a Project Nazare initiative. They could release as soon as 2024.
According to The Verge, which spoke to anonymous sources, Meta is aiming to launch the first model in two years, followed by a “lighter, more advanced” model in 2026, and a third model in 2028. The first model will work without your phone, but it’ll require a “phone-shaped device” for computing power and a CTRL-Labs-inspired electrical pulse-based wristband for control. It will be based on Android and can supposedly offer “full” AR – complete with 3D visuals and eye-tracking. It’ll feature an outward-facing camera, stereo audio, a relatively wide field of view, and a “socially acceptable” design.
Interestingly, there will be a communication feature that will allow you to speak with someone’s hologram, for a more immersive experience than what existing video calling can offer. A former staffer even told The Verge that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is hoping its first Project Nazare AR glasses will be an “iPhone moment” for Meta. However, Meta has faced many obstacles during its development of the glasses, including ditching plans for a custom OS, staffing issues, and prototype hardware that’s about four times heavier than existing glasses. Some prototypes even have just four hours of battery life.
Separate to all this, Meta might also release a more simple wearable – a pair of phone-paired smart glasses – dubbed Hypernova within two years. These glasses would show notifications through a small display.
It’s clear Zuckerberg and Meta really want to be an innovator when it comes to augmented reality and the metaverse. And although AR glasses have yet to catch on, Meta is hoping it will have a winner on its hands.
Writing by Maggie Tillman.