This week, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, teased a series of upcoming features for his firm’s ‘Ray-Ban Stories’ augmented reality (AR) smart glasses.
Zuckerberg took to his Facebook account to announce the update, which introduced news features such as voice controls to allow a user to navigate audio controls, send messages, message playback, and make audio calls via Facebook Messenger.
Meta has not confirmed an official release date for the new features.
The news comes after the Menlo Park, California-based firm unveiled additional voice controls as well as spatial anchors for the Quest software development kit (SDK) earlier this month.
The tech giant also added its Voice SDK application programme interface (API) to the Meta Quest to offer virtual reality (VR) developers hands-free voice navigation for Quest apps.
AR, Haptics, and the Metaverse
In July, Zuckerberg confirmed the company’s Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses in a quarterly earnings call. Andrew Bosworth, Head of Facebook’s Reality Labs, later revealed new hardware in a series of Twitter posts.
The Ray-Ban AR smartglasses launched in early September, marking Meta’s debut in the AR sector.
Earlier in the year, Jack McCauley, Former Oculus Co-Founder and Engineer, said in a panel discussion the Ray-Ban partnership was “a great idea,” and was a “win for [Ray-Ban], not in the short term, but in the long term.”
Additionally, Meta has begun exploring alternative methods for VR/AR input, and its ‘Reality Lab’ division is currently prototyping haptic gloves to recreate touch in immersive environments.
Meta’s haptic research works along with its hand-tracking technologies, which detect physical hand movements and replicate them in VR. Meta achieves this with the Quest’s outward facing cameras and Passthrough API to track real-world objects.
At Meta Connect event in October, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Project Nazare, an upcoming AR wearable that uses the firm’s powerful Presence Platform and Spark ARSDK to create immersive features that assist users with daily routines.