Facebook is continuously trying to push the envelope and cement its place as one of the world’s leading technology innovators. In its latest move, the company has recently announced that it has patented its Oculus augmented-reality glasses, which will allow users to see and interact with virtual images and objects that are essentially layered directly on top of the real world. The new augmented reality glasses are being developed by Oculus, a Facebook-owned company responsible for creating the hugely popular Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset.
Unlike the Oculus Rift VR headsets, the new Oculus augmented-reality glasses are for use in the real world and will feature a display that essentially adds virtual objects directly into users’ field of vision. With this type of augmented reality, computer-generated sounds, videos and images can be superimposed directly on top of the real world—similar to the popular Snapchat Lenses feature released earlier this year.
Facebook hopes that the new Oculus glasses will be able to rival other augmented-reality glasses such as Snapchat Spectacles and Microsoft Hololens. Other examples of augmented-reality glasses include Google Glass, which has recently been repurposed and is now being marketed for business purposes after being unavailable for several years. Apple is also currently developing its own augmented-reality platform that it hopes to make available for iPad and iPhone users sometime in the near future.
With its Oculus augmented-reality glasses, Facebook is hoping to be a leading player in the emerging augmented reality industry. Various officials at the company are already predicting that the demand for augmented-reality smartglasses will see a huge increase in the next few years, and the social-media giant is betting on its Oculus glasses to help it gain a strong foothold in this new market.
At the same time, Facebook is also dedicated to furthering virtual reality technology as well. Only recently the company launched its Spaces virtual-reality social network, which allows users to interact with others and post photos and videos to their Facebook account within a special virtual-reality world that takes place inside the Oculus Rift headset. As of now, it is still far too early to tell whether or not the new Oculus augmented-reality smartglasses will be successful or whether the product will go the way of Google Glass. Nonetheless, the new glasses do show that Facebook is committed to furthering the way we interact with technology in our everyday lives, and judging by the company’s success up until now, it seems likely that this latest venture will also be a success.