If you were to summarize the path Snap has taken to augmented reality smartglasses with a meme template, how it started would be the first generation of Spectacles camera glasses and how it goes, the next generation of Spectacles with AR capabilities.
However, it looks like Facebook will begin its consumer-grade smartglass journey on the wrist.
Facebook has been quite open about its plans for smartglasses. Those plans include CTRL-Labs, a brain control interface (BCI) startup funded by Google and Amazon that Facebook acquired in 2019. CTRL-Labs’ technology intercepts nerve signals at the wrist to interpret user intent, which can aid in accuracy and speed of hand gesture interpretation for AR interfaces.
Now, according to an unpublished report by The edge, Facebook plans to launch its own smartwatch with a detachable screen and cameras next year, primarily as a standalone alternative to smartphones in its quest to bypass Apple and Google.
It’s in future iterations where the smartwatch’s role as an AR wearable comes into play. Facebook is reportedly planning to integrate the nerve-wracking technology into the smartwatch, making it an accessory that works in tandem with its smartglasses. The report echoes previous Facebook posts about the technology, which characterized wrist-based devices as “much earlier possible” than other BCI technology the company is developing.
“You have voice support, but you won’t always want to use speech, because there will be privacy issues with that. Hands will be one thing. But you won’t always be walking around with your hands outstretched in front of you doing… I think controllers There’s going to be an interesting dimension to this as well. For things like writing, you want a stylus, that’s super handy. But in some ways, the holy grail of it all is a neural interface,” CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a livestream last week. – chat.
So, like the first-generation Spectacles, Facebook’s smartwatch may not have an AR role at launch. But it lays the foundation for the wearable ecosystem Facebook envisions when it unveils its own smartglasses.