Facebook Announces New Advances in VR and AR, Including AR Glasses Coming Next Year

This could be a game-changer for Facebook, bringing the digital and real-world together via helpful, digital overlays on your everyday view. The possibilities are massive, and if Facebook can indeed bring functional, fashionable AR glasses to market by 2021, that will give the company a significant edge over rivals like Apple and Amazon, which is also looking to develop the same.

Oculus Quest 2

VR is also a key focus for Facebook, and on that front, Facebook has unveiled the next generation of its most popular VR headset, with the Oculus Quest 2[8] to be released in October this year.

As per Oculus[9]:

“Oculus Quest changed the game for wireless VR. It delivered fresh experiences for enthusiasts and new opportunities for developers, all while introducing immersive gaming to newcomers across the globe. Today, we’re excited to announce Oculus Quest 2, the next generation of all-in-one VR.”

VR has seen a significant uptick in interest this year[10], with the COVID-19 lockdowns prompting people to seek out alternate forms of entertainment. That’s enabled Facebook to put even more focus on its next level VR tools, and advanced systems like the Quest now make it much easier for people to link into VR worlds, which Facebook also believes will be the future of social networking[11]

The Quest 2 starts at $299 USD, with pre-orders are open now for the device.[12]

Expansion of AR Tools and Instagram AR Ads

Facebook has also announced[13] the expansion of its third-party AR development program to Messenger, and to its Portal smart speaker device.

“Every month, more than 600 million people use Spark AR across Facebook and Instagram. More than 400,000 creators from over 190 countries have published Spark AR effects for Facebook and Instagram. Together, they’ve published over 1.2 million AR effects to date. And beginning next year, we’ll open up Portal and Messenger to Spark AR creator publishing, giving more people fun new ways to connect.”

Facebook renamed its camera effects platform to Spark AR back in 2018[14], as part of a broader push to open up its creation tools to all users. 

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