Facebook has made it known publicly that they are in the midst of planning and making a pair of AR glasses. At the Oculus Connect 6 event this past September, the company said that the glasses were still a few years out, but they were in fact making the glasses. Samsung Electronics has reportedly been the ones asked to make the custom tracking chips that are going to go inside the glasses. This report came from the Korean outlet The Electric Times.
One of the biggest challenges to building AR glasses is maintaining a battery life that is ling enough for a full days wear, while maintaining a weight that doesn’t make you feel like your eyes are being dragged out of your skull. For reference of the battery that needs to inside the glasses, a recent Facebook post suggested that the battery would need to be 50 times more efficient than the one that is inside of the Oculus Quest.
This battery that is going to be inside of the glasses is going to be responsible for the positional tracking and the world sensing, something that isn’t easy on any battery for any electronic.
The Oculus Quest uses a secondary core processor that is typically easier on the battery of the device. This is a high efficiency low performance chip that is perfect for everything that the headset needs to do on a day-to-day basis. The report from the Korean outlet was written in Korean, but the English version was able to be obtained. In this version the wording is a bit confusing, but one clear part is when they mention what the chip is going to do for the headset. It says that it will “collect and process various information that comes into Facebook’s AR glasses.”
That means you will likely be able to use google maps with a real-life overlay while wearing these glasses, and a host of many different things that will require your headset to know your whereabouts inside of the known world. This likely wouldn’t replace a full processor, but rather make the tracking power go through this processor and make it much more efficient for the battery, enabling it to be working all day long.
It is important to note that because Samsung is working on the chip for Oculus, it doesn’t mean they do not plan on releasing their own AR headset or glasses anytime soon. In fact, there have been numerous rumors swirling around that Samsung has an impressive AR/VR announcement coming to the public in the next half year or so. If that is true, Oculus may be getting old technology when their glasses drop in a few years.
It is also important to know how often big companies don’t make their own processors for their newest devices. Companies like NVIDIA, AMD, Qualcomm, and even Apple don’t make their own and rely on semiconductor fabrication plants. There are a few of these that are known throughout the world, but the best and most popular is the TSMC manufactures. TMSC is responsible for creating the chips for the biggest tech giants in the world. With that being said, Samsung is going to be the ones making the chip for Tesla’s next self-driving generation.
With whatever Samsung puts inside of Facebook’s glasses, you can be sure that it will continue to updated overtime. The hardware is going to leave lots of room for firmware on software updates, so the first version is only going to be improved upon. For more VR news and community updates, make sure to check back at VRGear.com.