October 19, 2021


Born to play

Facebook smart glasses and some lessons for Apple

On the street to AR, Facebook snagged some attention this 7 days with the arrival...

On the street to AR, Facebook snagged some attention this 7 days with the arrival of its initial intelligent eyeglasses. As Apple inches toward the introduction of its possess augmented spectacles, are there classes right here about what these things do and how they should really operate?

What Facebook’s eyeglasses do

1st, let us consider a look at Facebook’s intelligent eyeglasses. They present a pair of cameras to consider pictures and films, boast a microphone and a speaker, and are managed making use of a voice assistant.

Most observers explain these things as equivalent to Snapchat spectacles. Facebook has identified as them Tales, so now you know what the Story attribute in Facebook most of us never use is for. The eyeglasses are manufactured with Ray-Ban and search like Wayfarers. They charge $299 and Facebook says it wants them to “create a perception of social presence.”

They are not AR eyeglasses. Instead, they will permit you movie every thing that takes place all-around you, presumably so Facebook can analyze your practices and pump you up with advertising, which appears to be the social media company’s essential business plan.

The eyeglasses search cool, the contact controls look cool, but all you’re getting truly is music on the shift, a voice assistant that also usually takes calls, and the opportunity to consider pictures/films on desire. These are accessories at ideal and are developed to operate with an app on a smartphone. These intelligent eyeglasses look a very little dumb.

What can Apple find out from all this? Here’s a number of recommendations.


I doubt Apple’s eyeglasses will charge $299. They will community with an Iphone to supply a variety of large-stop resources and will be supported by a established of app improvement resources developed to assist what we by now know are the critical markets for AR: Site-primarily based game titles these types of as Pokémon business and health-related use and access on-the-go to ambulatory data and leisure. I have arrive across current promises Apple’s initial-technology eyeglasses won’t assist AR. I suspect an on-lens data system stays plausible.

Facebook’s offering is just a facts-capture device with a voice assistant. Apple will present far more, and possibly cost far more, also.


If you wear Facebook eyeglasses, never be surprised to discover by yourself questioned to leave them at the box workplace when you show up at a live overall performance, consider portion in a conference, visit courtroom, or even wander all-around some buying malls. As term spreads, it will become a social faux-pas to wear them at social gatherings. People today never have faith in Facebook on privateness.

What Apple learns: We know Apple supports privateness (or applied to). When it chooses to introduce its possess eyeglasses, it will will need to build location-primarily based technologies by integration with Maps that enable places to avoid filming from taking area.

It also would seem possible an activity light will exhibit when filming/recording is taking area. Privacy advocates will desire the latter, when specific locations will call for the former.

The prospective

There doesn’t however appear to be a developer natural environment all-around Facebook’s eyeglasses. That is likely to restrict what they can do. Apple appreciates that to build persuasive activities for a large audience, it ought to enable a developer ecosystem. This is the technique it usually takes across all its merchandise, bar some accessories.

Apple’s eyeglasses concentrate is possible to evolve all-around augmented truth activities and data access, these types of as guides to buying malls, vacationer guides, or even overlaid data to information health-related procedures. (Arguably, health-related and some industrial deployments grew to become the critical achievement tales all-around Google Glass.)

Apple’s operate in Arcade signifies it also has the prospective to build its possess interactive gaming activities to assist the merchandise it inevitably ships. Furthermore, why not sit back and watch Apple Audio or Tv+ films on your eyeglasses when you vacation?


Eventually, Facebook’s approach would seem flawed by deficiency of preparation. It is only now investing in processor technologies to assist its endeavours. It has Oculus technologies, but these look to be on a different tack, concentrated on pure AR activities. Integration with the smartphone would seem pretty restricted, Facebook has unsuccessful to build a solid standing all-around privateness and doesn’t (however) appear to have created a lot in the way of a supporting improvement natural environment. To be truthful, past Oculus, Facebook does have various assets it could leverage I have no doubt it is by now iterating far more innovative eyeglasses in its labs.

Apple, in the meantime, by now would seem to be doing work on how to develop health and fitness sensors for its potential wearables. It is truthful to notice that most market place speculation at current sees Apple introduce a a lot less perfectly-highlighted initial iteration of its eyeglasses future calendar year, before a far more innovative remedy ships a number of yrs down the line.

What it calls to thoughts

Facebook’s new offering calls to thoughts Samsung’s early shift to hurry the introduction of its possess intelligent watch before Apple basically outlined the category with Apple Look at. Samsung won a good deal of assist for its shift at that time, but Apple blew it out the water when it followed go well with.

Samsung’s Galaxy Look at however has its advocates, (not least because some versions are round, which so numerous individuals desire), but when Apple Look at holds about 28% of the market place, Samsung has just seven.six%, according to Counterpoint.

It’s an open up dilemma the extent to which Facebook will be ready to leverage its stained brand name to get market place share in the rising intelligent eyeglasses market place as Apple and some others deliver the merchandise they have been creating to market place in the future calendar year or so.

Facebook’s force would seem unlikely to dent the universe, but certainly displays the expanding levels of competition amongst both providers as the fight for the multiverse intensifies.

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