Facebook launched AR glasses research with 100 participants

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Facebook on Wednesday launched a project named Aria with 100 participants to test its first-generation wearable augmented reality (AR) glasses.

The research device is initiated by the Facebook Reality Labs project to help developing software and hardware needed for the AR glasses. The device will encrypt, compress and store the information until it is copied onto a separate back-end system.

As part of the research, the device will capture video and audio from the wearer’s point of view, as well as the eye movement and location data to help the programmers to work on the device but the participants won’t be able to view or listen to the collected data.

The company on a virtual conference cleared that the glasses are currently not a consumer product or a prototype. The glasses will be made available to the selected group of 100 Facebook employees and contractors in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle from this month onwards and they will be trained on when and where to use it.

The participants in Aria research projects will record in Facebook offices, private homes and public spaces and while recording in places like shops or restaurants they have to seek written permission from the authority of that place.

“ To actually build glasses flexible enough to work for most face shapes and sizes and create the software to support them, we still need several generations of breakthroughs, like systems to enhance audio-video input, contextualized (AI) and a lightweight frame to house it all. ”

Facebook has earlier said that it will collaborate with Carnegie Mellon University’s Cognitive Assistance Laboratory to build 3D maps of airports and museums that would aid the Visually impaired to navigate the environment.

The social media giant’s dream of AR is in line with its expectation to bring digital assistance to detect road hazards and technology to aid hear better in noisy environments.