Facebook‘s Oculus is working on augmented reality glasses and has filed a patent on August 17 that shows an early design of one such wearable. The company confirmed it was pursuing AR in the past, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talking about this emerging technology on several occasions, adding that it’ll be the future of consumer electronics. The newly uncovered patent suggests that the social media giant took upon itself to try to revolutionize the way users experience digital entertainment. The tech company Facebook acquired in 2014 now patented a pair of glasses with transparent displays in place of traditional lenses which refract light into a user’s eyes.
In recent times, Zuckerberg has been rather vocal about augmented reality, the tech behind it, and the ways in which it could be used to enhance the current world of home entertainment, suggesting that AR may be the next major consumer electronics revolution after smartphones. Oculus itself already has a plethora of experience related to virtual reality and has previously hinted at being interested in tackling AR in the future, with that particular notion being supported by the newly uncovered patent. Augmented reality has yet to be fully developed into a proper, commercially available experience which is something Microsoft has been trying to achieve with its HoloLens, and numerous other tech companies are also presently developing AR tech. The application filed by Facebook’s Oculus last week looks more conventional than head-mounted displays like HoloLens in the sense that it takes the form of a traditional pair of sunglasses and is hence more similar to Snap’s Spectacles.
Even though both Facebook and Oculus are eager to put augmented reality front and center for their consumers, the technology is still far from being fully developed and not even the more advanced and commercially available VR hardware has yet found its way into the mainstream market due to a variety of reasons, with high prices and a general lack of content being the two most commonly cited factors that are still holding it back, according to some industry watchers. It’s currently unclear how close is the newly uncovered patent to being commercialized, but Facebook and Oculus may share more details on their AR endeavors in the coming months.