Meta’s CTO confirms that Meta has built a sophisticated, prohibitively expensive pair of AR glasses that could be shown to the public in 2024.
In an interview with Alex Heath, Andrew Bosworth confirms that Meta has a “pretty exciting” AR glasses prototype that could be unveiled in 2024.
“We’ve actually been playing with it this year. It’s probably our most exciting prototype that we’ve had to date. I might get myself in trouble for saying this: I think it might be the most advanced piece of technology on the planet in its domain. In the domain of consumer electronics, it might be the most advanced thing that we’ve ever produced as a species.”
At the same time, Bosworth says that the device is prohibitively expensive to manufacture and that the real work will be in reducing the price and form factor. He holds out the prospect of the device being unveiled this year: “I think there’s a pretty good chance that people will get a chance to play with it in 2024.”
Bosworth also hints that Meta is working, or has worked, on a version of the Ray-Ban Meta smartglasses with a small viewfinder display: “The roadmap that we had was bizarrely the right roadmap for contextual AI. You want a pair of glasses that has a camera, microphones, speakers. We have that. Then, you want one that has a display. We were planning to do that. We all know that.”
Meta’s CTO also talks about how recent AI breakthroughs and the integration of AI into the current Ray-Ban Meta smartglasses affect Meta’s product roadmap.
“So, my sense is that the AR roadmap changes a lot. I think the products that are in the near term, which we always saw as important milestones, are much better products now. With the full-display glasses, we thought you would end up with virtual objects first, and then later you’d have contextual AI. You might 1704268479 have contextual AI first and later you build in the immersive features. So it has profound implications for one of these major technology pillars to arrive much sooner than expected. “
In spring 2023, Meta’s hardware roadmap up to 2027 was leaked, revealing that Meta plans to release two glasses with displays: third-generation Ray-Ban smartglasses with a simple viewfinder display in 2025, followed by the first true AR glasses (codenamed Orion) in 2027.
In June, The Information reported that Orion would not be released to the market, but would instead be presented to the public as a developer kit and demo device in 2024. A later report, also from The Information, detailed the device’s costly technology and claimed that AR glasses with affordable technology would not be commercialized by Meta until closer to the end of the decade.