Facebook packed its big event around Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, Facebook Connect, on September 16, 2020, the annual virtual event previously known as Oculus Connect. During this 2-hour virtual conference , many innovations were presented. Here are some of the big announcements you should not miss.
The new Oculus Quest 2
Without surprise, Facebook announced the release of its new Virtual Reality headset, the Oculus Quest 2. Many infos leaked in the days preceding the conference, so we were sure this product would be revealed. You can already pre-order this unique headset, which will be released on October 13, 2020. Lighter, more efficient than the Oculus Quest, it will require a connection to Facebook.
The 64 GB version will be available for $ 299 and the 256 GB version for $ 399.
Also, in order to continue to develop the functionality of the Oculus Quest 2 and enrich the catalog available to users, Mark Zuckerberg invited during the Keynote VR application developers to assist them in their projects. The Oculus Start and Oculus Launch Pad programs are now available from Facebook Connect.
“Smart Glasses” in partnership with Ray-ban
Beyond thrilled to finally share a sneak peek of our Facebook partnership with Ray-Ban! Our first smart glasses will launch next year, and that’s just the beginning… The future will be a classic and it’s coming in 2021 😎 pic.twitter.com/l9992ZQGoy
— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) September 16, 2020
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the beginning of the conference the arrival in 2012 of Smart Glasses in partnership with one of the world’s most popular eyewear brands, Ray-Ban. Although the characteristics of these glasses are still unclear, we already know that they will not integrate AR per se, since they will not project holograms into the user’s real environment.
Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s Reality Labs division, said in a statement : “We’re passionate about exploring devices that can give people better ways to connect with those closest to them. Wearables have the potential to do that. With EssilorLuxottica (*the company that owns Ray-Ban) we have an equally ambitious partner who’ll lend their expertise and world-class brand catalogue to the first truly fashionable smart glasses”.
The Smart Glasses are a new step for Facebook in their global project on Augmented Reality. We look forward to their release so that we can tell you more about them and discover all the possibilities they will give us.
Launch of Project Aria
Facebook is launching this fall an experimental research project called Project Aria. This is a prototype of AR glasses that will be tested in real life with the firm’s employees and partners to solve complex issues with privacy, video recording and design. It is actually the initiative of this project that could allow Facebook to optimize its AR experience.
With the introduction of Infinite Office, Facebook wants to give its VR headset new features that are no longer limited to gaming. Associated with certain applications such as Spatial, this could become a new working tool and allow its user to facilitate communication with professional partners – but also with your relatives, making content sharing much more fluid.
This feature will be available in winter 2021.