During its broader metaverse push, Meta is also developing AR glasses. It is doing so within its expanding scope of digital wearables that it will open up new opportunities for both the company and consumers.
But its AR project extends its current Ray Ban Stories offering glasses. Hence, it is not going to be as smoothly as it has hoped.
Furthermore, it could not be delayed either, and even downgraded, according to all the latest reports.
As per The Information, Meta is forced to take a different approach to its AR heads-up display elements.
It is due to challenges in integrating more advanced micro LED technology. It would have given it an advantage over its competitors.
Back in 2020, Meta acquired micro-LED leader Plessey. It gave it access to a key component for its AR glasses. While it also keeps Plessey’s technology from Apple, it appeared to be a savvy move in fending off the AR competition.
But the technology of Plessey has reportedly not easily integrated into Meta’s intended use case. It has since forced it to move away from Plessey’s tech and revert to lower-spec display elements. It is more akin to the same being used in other AR wearables.
This new and unsettling development lowers Meta’s potential moat in the AR race. It could harm its prospects of dominating the AR market, especially when Apple moves to the next stage with its VisionPro mixed reality device. It will be commercially available from early next year.
In several ways, VisionPro seems like a lesser version of Meta’s Quest VR headset, with a much higher price tag of $3,499 versus $499 for the coming Quest 3 unit.
But several industry insiders are excited about the possibilities of Apple’s ‘spatial computing’ shift. It could see Apple lead the way to the next stage of mixed reality experiences.
The code-name of Meta’s AR glasses is ‘Orion.’ It will play a key role in countering that hype. It offers a more stylish, day-to-day wearable, and it would augment your worldview with digital enhancements.
But, it is not possible, possibly due to the cost blow-outs and compatibility issues. Meta will be more limited than it had anticipated in this respect. It could dampen its hopes of leading the upcoming AR race.
Still, Meta’s AR project is going ahead. Meta is planning to make the first iteration of its AR glasses available to developers next year to launch commercial AR glasses by 2027.
Will Meta’s AR will be as good as Apple’s VisionPro?
Will Apple have already won over the market when Meta makes it to the party?
These are some tough questions to answer for a company like Meta, and there is still a long way to go.
But Meta’s AR ambitions have taken a hit of late, and it could see it shift focus again in favor of its broader VR push.
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