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Facebook AR Glasses On The Horizon

Facebook is inching closer to launching commercially viable futuristic AR glasses as it rapidly expands its AR team.

According to a report in Business Insider, the social media giant is refocusing its efforts on AR tech by transferring employees from its research-focused unit, Facebook Reality Labs, to a new team concentrated on AR.

One source estimated that 60% of the 650 Reality Lab employees were being transferred, but Facebook representative Tera Randall has disputed this figure.

The employees were previously working on AR tech, and the shift indicates Facebook’s focus on developing AR hardware and moving from experimental research to actually deliver commercially viable products.

“We made a shift to a more functional organisation last year and brought the AR product work into our product org and out of research, now that we are closer to shipping,” says Randall.

In 2017, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased the AR-glasses at its annual developer conference stating “We do not have the science or technology today to build the AR glasses that we want. We may in five years, or seven years.”

Either Facebook Reality Labs has had a massive breakthrough in AR, or we may be waiting some time to see an actual product. Alternatively, Randall could be referring to another undisclosed product.

A mock-up of the AR glasses was displayed at the 2017 conference, showing ordinary-looking eyeglasses with the ability to superimpose images in the field of vision.

A source confirmed the existence of the prototype to Business Insider and described them as less bulky than Microsoft’s HoloLens, and more like “really high-end glasses.”

Randall confirmed Facebook was working on various AR products saying: “We have an exciting AR road map that includes multiple products.” No specifics were provided.

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