April 13, 2022 3:47 pm EST

Meta Planning AR Glasses For 2024: Could This Be Zuckerberg's 'iPhone Moment'?

By Nadeem Sarwar

Meta is preparing to launch its first pair of AR (Augmented Reality) smart glasses two years from now, and has an ambitious plan for metaverse hardware for the next decade. As per a report from The Verge, the company is currently working on a high-end AR glasses project codenamed Nazare that is estimated to be ready by 2024. The company also has a successor in its planned roadmap for 2026, and a third-generation model that is slated to make its debut in 2028. The AR glasses won't require pairing with a smartphone, and will only need a phone-shaped device that will communicate wirelessly with the wearable device. With the AR Glasses, chief Mark Zuckerberg is said to be chasing his own iPhone moment.

One of the most ambitious features of the fully AR-ready Project Nazare is that it will push 3D holograms in front of the eyes and will also allow users to interact with them, something Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated during the Facebook Connect event last year. The upcoming AR glasses from Meta won't be cheap though, as the cost of components reportedly runs into thousands of dollars, something that is also expected of Apple's upcoming AR headset. The social media titan is tipped to be using expensive waveguides and microLED projectors in its AR glasses, but peak resolution figures are still a mystery. Eye-tracking tech is also said to be a part of the package, and there's also a front-facing camera akin to the Ray-Ban Stories.

Ambitious, expensive, and futuristic

It is quite likely that Facebook will try to set aside profits in order to boost adoption and gain an early competitive edge. The company currently hopes to sell only a few thousand units of its first-generation AR glasses, but the target is to move millions of them by the end of the decade. The current version is said to sport black frames and weighs 100 grams, however, the goal target of achieving a field of view wider than 70-degrees is doubtful for the 2024 launch window. The battery life of Meta's first AR smart glasses is reportedly around four hours, while the frame comes fitted with stereo audio hardware inside. The company is also working on custom chips for its AR hardware with help from partners in China.

Facebook also plans to bundle a bracelet-like device with the Nazare AR glasses. The wrist-worn gadget relies on electromyography tech in the wrist to study the activity of neurons and allows users to interact with virtual items appearing in front of their eyes. Meta, previously going by the name Facebook, demoed this tech last year that had users typing on virtual keyboards, switching between slides levitating in the air, and even playing with a virtual bow and arrow. And if Mark Zuckerberg has his way, they will also let users engage in an awkward fencing match with a virtual avatar. A lower-end model called Project Hypernova is also in the pipeline with a 2024 release target.

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