Meta’s First-Generation AR Glasses Will Be for Developers Only: Report

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has reportedly decided to target developers for the first version of its augmented reality (AR) glasses. The company wants developers to build software experiences for the device and future versions. Being developed under Project Nazare for three years, the first generation of AR glasses by Meta are codenamed Orion. The company is also said to be working on two watered down versions of AR glasses with the second version codenamed Artemis, and an entry-level, affordable version codenamed Hypernova.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, The Verge reported that the first version of the AR glasses was aimed at developers and early adopters, but it was this week that the employees in Meta’s Reality Labs division building VR and AR hardware were informed that these glasses will be first given only to developers for building experiences. The decision is reportedly taken because the device’s cost, which is thousands of dollars, is high and certain specifications such as display brightness are apparently not consumer-ready.

The Information first reported the development and it also said Meta’s Portal smart display is going business first. The report (via 9to5google) cites Meta as saying that Portal is now a business product aimed at hybrid work.

The first development in Meta’s AR glasses came in April when The Verge reported that the company is working on three versions of the AR glasses that will be launched “over the next several years.”

The second version of the glasses, codenamed Artemis, is said to be aimed at consumers, have a less bulky design, and an advanced display technology. It is also said that Meta plans to release an entry-level, cheaper version of AR glasses, codenamed Hypernova, as early as next year. These glasses will have to be paired with a phone to show notifications through a small heads-up display.

This approach of making multiple AR glasses is similar to Snap’s, the parent company of Snapchat, which announced last year that it is developing a new version of the Spectacles glasses. These glasses will not be sold to the public but will be aimed at artists and developers who want to build augmented reality experiences on Snapchat.

Google is also developing a pair of spectacles and it gave a sneak peek at this year’s Google I/O developer conference. The glasses are aimed at bringing the company’s Search, Maps and other artificial intelligence-enabled services to consumers. Google was the first to make AR glasses, called Google Glass, a decade ago, but the ill-fated device’s use cases have been very limited. Meanwhile, Apple is also reported to be working on AR glasses, which could see the daylight in 2025.

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