Mark Zuckerberg’s vision to propel Facebook into the world of augmented reality is finally coming to fruition, according to a new patent.
Three members of the company’s VR arm Oculus applied for a patent for AR glasses that would allow wearers to see virtual objects – and presumably Facebook posts and notifications – in the real world around them.
The glasses will take on the Spectacle from Snap, which has dominated consumer-friendly AR with its famed filters (which Facebook is known to steal).
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Three members of the company’s VR arm Oculus applied for a patent for AR glasses that would allow wearers to see virtual objects – and presumably Facebook posts and notifications – in the real world around them. Pictured: A diagram of Facebook’s near-eye-display (NED)
According to the filing, the display ‘may augment views of a physical, real-world environment with computer-generated elements’ and ‘may be included in an eye-wear comprising a frame and a display assembly that presents media to a user’s eyes.’
Oculus will be developing the glasses, titled in the patent as ‘waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner.’
Using a waveguide display, the technology will project light onto the wearer’s eyes to show images and video.
The approach is similar to the one used by Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset and the mysterious glasses being developed by the Google-backed startup Magic Leap.
In fact, one of the patent’s authors is Pasi Saarikko, who came to Oculus as lead optical scientists after leading the optical design of the HoloLens at Microsoft.
However, the pictured design is smaller and sleeker than the HoloLens headset.
Using a waveguide display, the technology will project light on light onto the wearer’s eyes to show images and video. A block diagram illustrating a source assembly that includes a combining lens assembly (terrifying)
Zuckerberg has long been known to be placing big bets on AR.
He believes that soon we won’t even use phones and will be instead be connected through AR technology.
‘You’ll just have glasses, or eventually contact lenses – [You’ll be able to] look around and see different things and interact with [by] using your hands and reaching out and grabbing stuff,’ he told The Verge.
‘That, I think, is the next logical step for how we’ll interact with this.’
‘We’re really excited about pushing both of those trends forward.’
The Facebook founder first unveiled the company’saugmented reality system in March at the firm’s annual F8 developer conference as part of the ‘second act’ in Facebook’s camera strategy – a new platform to allow developers to build AR apps.
He also hinted at the firm’s more distant future, confirming rumors it is developing a radical mind reading computer interface – and promised more details on the project ‘soon’.
The social network’s founder took to the stage at the firm’s annual F8 developer conference at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center to show off new AR software and confirm rumours of a new neural ‘mind control’ interface
‘We’re building further out beyond augmented reality, and that includes work around direct brain interfaces that one day will let you communicate using only your mind, although that stuff is pretty far out,’ he said.
He first unveiled a new augmented reality platform allowing developers to build AR apps.
FACEBOOK GOES VR WITH SPACES
Facebook also revealed its first VR app, called Faces, for the firm’s Oculus Rift.
It uses a virtual avatar, and allows to users to virtually meet and interact with friends.
It will be available from today in beta form.
Facebook Spaces launches in beta for Oculus Rift and Touch today, and lets users interact with friends in a virtual environment
The system uses AI to choose an avatar for people, before allowing them to customise it.
It showed off the system with demos including people showing off holiday destinations and even new apartments.
‘Spending time with friends and family creates many of our most meaningful memories, but it’s impossible to always be physically near the people we care about, said Facebook’s Rachel Franklin.
The VR software even includes a virtual selfie stick so participants can capture their time together
Users can draw or write messages using Facebook’s Oculus Touch Controllers
‘That’s where the magic of virtual reality comes in.
‘Today, we’re introducing a new VR app where you hang out with friends in a fun, interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room. ‘
Facebook Spaces launches in beta for Oculus Rift and Touch today.
Zuckerberg said new phone-based applications might include creating a three-dimensional scene from a single two-dimensional photo or splattering the walls of your house with colorful (virtual) art.
‘You may have noticed we rolled out cameras across our apps, that was act one,’ he said.
Today, we’re going to talk about act two – augmented reality.
‘We know where we want this go eventually – glasses or contact lenses that overlay this,’ Zuckerberg said.
‘We know where we want this go eventually – glasses or contact lenses that overlay this,’ Zuckerberg said
‘This will help us mix the physical and digital in new ways, and make reality better’.
‘I used to think glasses would be the firm major firm factor. But we are seeing versions with out phone cameras’.
‘Giving developers the power to build for augmented reality.
‘We’ll start today with basic effect such as face masks.
You’ll have thousands of options.’
However, Zuckerberg said the system will be more complex than simple snapchat-style filters.
Last year, Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s 10-year road map that calls for powerful technologies to radically alter how people connect with friends and family and the world at large.
Uswers without VR headsets can use Messenger to appear in a video window in the VR chats
Facebook also revealed its first VR app, called Faces, for the firm’s Oculus Rift
Zuckerberg said games were likely to be a key component, and showed off a demo of a game turning a table into an AR game, allowing children to interact with objects on it.
‘This isn’t going to happen overnight, over time I think this will change how we use our phones, and eventually all of our technology,’ he said.
‘Even if we were a little slow to add cameras to our apps, I’m confident we will move this along.’
The social network’s founder took to the stage at the firm’s annual F8 developer conference at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center to show off new AR software
Zuckerberg showed several demos of possible Facebook AR apps
Zuckerberg also confirmed the firm was developing a ‘mind computer interface’ that will one day allow users to communicate machine and said more details would be made available about the project soon.
It recently revealed the existence of a new division, known only as ‘Building 8,’ which is dedicated to creating ground-breaking products at the intersection of hardware, software, and content.
And a new job advert posting suggested that the mysterious division could be working on mind-reading technology.
One advert is for a ‘brain-computer interface engineer’ to work on a ‘2-year B8 project focused on developing advanced BCI technologies.’
Details on what the job will involve are limited, but the advert adds that one of the key responsibilities will be applying ‘machine learning methods, including encoding and decoding models, to neuroimaging and electrophysiological data.’
The second advert is for a ‘neural imaging engineer’ who will be responsible for ‘a project focused on developing novel non-invasive neuroimaging technologies.’
Both jobs are based at the Menlo Park site in California.
These limited descriptions suggest that Building 8 might be working on monitoring how brain activity changes when looking at pictures or videos.