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The Status of Meta’s Augmented Reality Glasses

Cameron Wiggins
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If you have been anywhere near the internet in the past month, you are familiar with the name Elon Musk. The leader of Tesla, and subsequently SpaceX, is in the headlines for his purchase of Twitter. In all the media craze, it is easy to overlook the other billionaire tech giant who owns a social media platform. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has turned his attention to the metaverse. His tech company, Meta, promises the delivery of an official pair of augmented reality glasses.

Everyone in the media is focusing on the latest ventures of Elon Musk. As a result, little attention is being paid to the progress of Meta or these glasses. Unfortunately for the company, and consumers alike, it seems the augmented reality glasses are still nowhere near ready for sale or use.

Zuckerberg has invested massive resources into Meta and his pursuit of the metaverse. However, there isn’t much payoff to this point. After numerous delays and setbacks, current projections show that the augmented reality glasses might be ready by 2024. However, after a number of delays already it would not be surprising to see it happen again. Here’s a quick look into the current status and some of the problems associated with Meta’s augmented reality glasses.

What is Meta?

For those who don’t already know, Meta is Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to introduce the metaverse.

The metaverse is a somewhat complex topic as a whole. Essentially, it’s the process of creating an entire virtual reality world and society. Users will have a device that allows them to enter this virtual reality, create an avatar, and interact with other users in the metaverse. A recent article from USA Today can provide a more in-depth description of the metaverse and what it means.

Zuckerberg has massive plans for the metaverse, even referring to it as a “Holy Grail of Technology.” These plans all start with his company, Meta, and their pursuit of augmented reality glasses. They believe that through augmented reality glasses and the metaverse social connection can reach new heights.

Supposedly, users will be able to interact, learn, and socialize with one another in virtual 3D spaces. While the plans for the metaverse and augmented reality glasses are stunning, the reality at this point is a bit disappointing.

Early Delays

Despite Zuckerberg’s lofty goals for the glasses, current developments show that we are still well away from them being ready for market.

Currently, Meta employees are working rapidly to try to deliver a working product by 2024. However, the project has already been delayed a few times, and to this point, there is no working wearable prototype. The current product used for tests and demonstration is fixed to a table. It’s not near ready for consumer usage.

Despite the struggles in early development, the company is already working on a second and third generation of the glasses for 2026 and 2028. While the metaverse may change our society completely, it seems likely that we will have to wait at least a few years. The augmented reality glasses will have to hit the market and show up in homes.

Battle of the Tech Giants

While Zuckerberg and Meta may promote the societal benefits of the metaverse, other factors are most definitely in play. Despite the success of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg’s company needed a rebrand. Recent privacy and data scandals have left many with a bad taste in their mouth, Zuckerberg included.

The hope is that by being at the forefront of this next wave, Zuckerberg and Meta can shed these negative associations.

Furthermore, along with a battle for their reputation, the company is also fighting a battle with the other tech giants. Companies such as Microsoft and Apple dominate the market currently. And at this point, Meta and Facebook’s products can only be used in conjunction with another device.

This puts Zuckerberg’s company directly under the thumb of these other tech giants. The hope is that by producing the augmented reality glasses, Meta can create a product that can function independently. It won’t require a connection to another device. Despite the larger implications of the metaverse, the pursuit of this as a product largely comes back to company reputation and competition.

Final Thoughts

It’s impossible to tell what the future of the metaverse will look like, and how it will change our society. As Zuckerberg and Meta look to get back on top in the tech world, it’s beyond doubt that the landscape will change indefinitely.

Whether you are excited or nervous about the introduction of augmented reality glasses, chances are you will need to wait at least a few more years. With no current functionally wearable prototype, and more delays likely, we won’t see the glasses until at least 2024. We’re not quite there yet. However, we are still very excited to see these augmented reality glasses on the market.

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