Facebook Wants to Map the World, Create AR Glasses to Interact With It

Facebook announced its developing AR glasses and a 3D map of the planet that users will be able to interact with.
Donna Fuscaldo
Oculus AR GlassesOculus 

Facebook is hoping to take augmented reality to the next level, announcing during its Oculus Connect developer conference it's building AR glasses and creating a 3D map of the planet. 

Without providing details, Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook's augmented and virtual reality efforts, said the company developed "a few" AR glasses prototypes. He did say they were a few years out, according to media reports.  


Facebook wants to map the world 

During the event, Bosworth discussed creating Live Maps that would provide contextual data to a person wearing AR glasses. For instance, a user standing in front of a movie theater will be able to see movie times and purchase tickets while wearing the glasses.

There could also be 3D assistant who looks like a real person that interacts with you. As Ars Technica noted in its report, the demo didn't show anyone wearing AR glasses and there was no mention of how it would handle users data and protect their privacy. After all Facebook's track record with privacy is questionable. It was only a couple of years ago that it revealed Cambridge Analytica, the now-defunct political consulting firm accessed the data on 87 million Facebook users without their permission. 

Bosworth described Live Maps as a "shared virtual map of the world," that can identify your location, understand your surroundings and provide information relevant to that, according to one report

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Is Facebook working on AR glasses with Ray-Ban? 

The news out of the Oculus Connect conference comes at a time when Facebook and its AR aspirations have been in the press. Last week a report surfaced Facebook was partnering with Luxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses to create AR glasses. The glasses are reportedly code-named Orion and could launch between 2023 and 2025. The AR glasses are being developed to replace mobile devices and will be able to accept calls, view information and share a live stream of what they are seeing.  

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