Yes, Facebook is making AR glasses. That we already knew. But, today at Oculus Connect, the company confirmed any official product was “a few years out.”
Head of VR/AR Andrew Bosworth confirmed as much during the developer conference keynote. Bosworth began by speaking about how AR can surpass some of VR’s limitations, letting users access the real world.
“To get to this future, we are building AR glasses,” he announced.
But Bosworth didn’t proceed to reveal any prototype AR hardware. He confirmed the company has some work-in-progress models, but stated these were years out from release.
To tide people over in the meantime, Bosworth announced Live Maps to “bridge the physical and digital divides.”
Bosworth described this as “a shared virtual map of the world” that uses computer vision. It consists of a layer of systems including finding your location, recognizing your surroundings and then understanding “the intrinsic meaning of objects.” It uses this information for shared experiences in AR. A trailer visualized information being shown as a couple arrive at a cinema or virtually teleporting a human into a local space.
It will feature a virtual assistant to bring you context-sensitive information and the ability to recognize changes in spaces.
Bosworth didn’t say when we might get access to Live Maps ourselves. This month has been filled with Facebook AR rumors, though. One suggests the company is partnering with Ray Ban to deliver a pair of specs that can livestream the world around you. Another claims the company is working on glasses for much further down the road with more capabilities.