Roughly 100 Facebook employees will soon be wearing augmented reality research glasses at work, at home, and in public in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Seattle.
These research glasses will help Facebook develop a pair of augmented reality glasses that can layer 3D graphics and information over the wearer’s view of the real world. The company hopes that the eventual device will enable virtual social interactions, like being able to have a lifelike conversation with a faraway friend who’s projected across from you at your kitchen table.
But the company still has a lot to learn about the software and sensors that will be necessary to create these futuristic interactions, which could be less than five years away. The Facebook employees participating in “Project Aria” will use their test glasses to gather data that will help the company’s researchers and engineers understand how AR can work in practice, in terms of technology and of the privacy protections users will demand.
The glasses will capture video and audio from the wearer’s point of view while collecting data from the sensors in the glasses that track where the wearer’s eyes are going.