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Meta's upcoming AR glasses are getting a few major downgrades
- Meta is working on a pair of augmented reality glasses codenamed Artemis.
- The company could be planning to downgrade the displays.
- Meta may also nix the planned lidar sensor.
Some of tech’s biggest players are currently working on various AR/VR projects, including Samsung, Apple, and Meta. A recently published report has given us new details on one of Meta’s AR projects (AR glasses), and it looks like it’s bad news.
Last year, it was reported by The Verge that Meta was working on AR glasses. The first version of this device, codename Orion, would be for developers only. However, the second version, codename Artemis, would see a consumer launch scheduled for 2027. Artemis was expected to get advanced display technology, but it seems Meta is changing its plans.
According to a new report from The Information, Artemis is no longer getting the MicroLED displays originally planned for the device. Meta reportedly plans to substitute the high-end displays with liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS). As the outlet points out, this technology isn’t as bright as newer technology. This can be a problem for a device that needs to be able to overlay images on real-world environments even in bright areas.
In another blow to the AR product, it appears Meta has decided to switch from using silicon carbide to a glass waveguide. This is a very unfortunate downgrade as the previous material allowed would have allowed for up to a 70-degree field of view. With a glass waveguide, the field of view will be reduced to 50 degrees, putting these glasses in line with the Magic Leap One.
The final downgrade involves an “oval-shaped wireless puck” that would be included with the glasses. The puck is meant to “offload parts of the computing,” and would include a battery, 5G modem, lidar sensor, and a touchpad. It appears Meta will ditch the planned lidar sensor that would have allowed the glasses to “detect the device’s surroundings and import 3D objects including faces and bodies into the digital world.”
While Meta is stripping these features from Artemis, the same won’t be true for Orion. The developer’s version of the AR glasses will reportedly still include these features. If Meta is in fact making these downgrades to its consumer AR glasses, it could end up having a hard time competing against Samsung’s AR glasses, which are rumored to be Samsung’s first upcoming AR product.