Can AR Glasses Be Pushed By 2025

- Dec 16, 2019-

Can Facebook make fire AR glasses?


Facebook is developing two types of augmented reality (AR) smart glasses, the first codenamed Stella, which may be available between 2023 and 2025, and the second codenamed Orion, which is a more advanced augmented reality device.


Facebook is working with Luxottica of EssilorLuxottica to design glasses for Stella. Luxottica produces high-end eyewear brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley, as well as authorized eyewear from fashion brands such as Burberry and Armani.


According to reports, Stella will be similar to Snap's (16.02, -0.98, -5.76%) glasses, with a built-in camera that can take photos and videos, but Stella may be equipped with a new AI voice assistant. As for Orion, CNBC claims that it may be an all-in-one replacement for smartphones, a head-mounted display with calls, streaming video live streaming and running applications that can be controlled by a ring device codenamed Agios.


Stella and Orion will not change the direction of Facebook in a short time, but they can extend the Facebook ecosystem beyond personal computers and mobile devices, laying the foundation for future business.


Understanding the AR market


Smart glasses were once considered the next big computing platform after smartphones, but they are still niche devices for tech enthusiasts and some corporate markets.


Six years ago, Google (1225.09, -16.30, -1.31%) tried to enter this market. The company launched Google Glass, but due to the high price and embarrassing appearance, the product ended in failure. Like Facebook, Google has also partnered with Luxottica to introduce more stylish frames, but has still failed to attract more mainstream users. Google eventually discontinued the original glasses and launched a new version for business users.


Due to the disappearance of vending machines, Snap's glasses began to sell in the second half of 2016. But the hype quickly subsided, and Snap made a $ 40 million write-down of unsold glasses the following year. But Snap hasn't given up on the device. It launched the second generation last year and the third one this year, but the batch size is much smaller than the first generation.


Microsoft (137.73, -1.81, -1.30%) launched the first version of HoloLens in 2016 and the second version this year, but the price of this device is still $ 3,500, and the target user is still the developer . According to reports, Apple (218.82, -1.07, -0.49%) cancelled its AR / VR headset plan earlier this year, but its ARKit platform for iOS applications still has a firm foothold in the AR field. Microsoft and Apple's cautious moves show that AR technology is not ready to enter the golden age.


Will Stella and Orion live better than their predecessors?


Back in 2017, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that Facebook wanted to develop AR glasses, but had not yet "science or technology" to create the ideal device. In 2018, Facebook confirmed that it was developing AR devices, but said it had no plans to launch products at this time. At Oculus Connect 5, Michael Abrash, director of the Reality Labs division focused on augmented and virtual reality projects, said that ideal augmented reality devices should weigh less than 70 grams and be "accepted by society."


Earlier this year, Facebook restructured its Reality Labs division and officially formed a dedicated group to create AR glasses. Recent reports on Stella and Orion indicate that the department finally has a clearer vision for its long-term goals: expand the company's social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsAPP) from mobile phones to Stella's face, and finally challenge high-end AR headset , Such as HoloLens by Orion.


However, Facebook does not seem to be as eager to enter the AR market as its tech rivals. This may be because the company wants to focus first on expanding its virtual reality (VR) ecosystem with new headsets like the standalone Oculus Quest. Research firm SuperData predicts that Facebook's Quest shipments will reach 1.3 million this year, and like Sony's (58.77, -0.64, -1.08%) (Sony) PSVR, it will become one of the top devices in this emerging market.


If Facebook's share of the virtual reality market continues to grow, it may use this advantage to more aggressively expand into the AR market through a larger team of developers. It can also use similar commands and controls for AR and VR platforms to reduce the learning curve for mainstream users. If you wait patiently for components to become smaller and more powerful, it can also introduce more attractive devices on the first try, rather than wasting money at the wrong time.


in conclusion


Investors should be concerned about Facebook's AR / VR efforts for three simple reasons: they expand the Facebook ecosystem in addition to the saturation of the computer and mobile phone markets, increase the new hybrid realism's sticky nature of the ecosystem, and set the foundation for new revenue streams .


As such, Stella and Orion may mark Zuckerberg's first steps towards "the next major computing platform." Zuckerberg mentioned the platform multiple times in internal emails and public interviews. In the next few quarters, this may not matter, but in the next few decades, it may bring dramatic changes.