Facebook has become Meta and is heavily investing in the virtual reality world. Meta’s interest in expanding the “metaverse” could have been foretold by looking at its patents. One of them being their AR (artificial intelligence) hat.
Here the AR glasses will be attached to the brim of a cap instead of worn like glasses. Their aim behind the design had less to do with looks and more to do with the functionality. As they describe in the patent, that usual AR glasses can be huge, bulky and unbalanced.
They also generate excessive heat and because these glasses are worn on the bridge of the user’s nose, it’s difficult to include advanced computing components there.
As the image shows, when you wish to stop your AR experience, you can just tuck your glasses in the brim of your hat and have a seemingly normal baseball cap in your hands.
The display device being added to the brim of the hat has the added benefit of expanded surface area, and it would also allow the device the addition of more digital sensors including microphones, environment sensors, face tracking tools etc. Bigger surface area will also solve the issue of heating and weight as the hat would distribute the heat and weight over a bigger surface area.
The AR hat will also come with either glove like devices or smart watches which will allow the users to interact with the virtual world within the glasses.
As for the fashion conscious people who aren’t satisfied with the cap look, they will have the alternative to use the AR on a visor or fedora like hats.
Of course Meta will have to be mindful about the appearance of their AR glasses as the fact remains that even if the glasses provide utility, if they don’t look good, people won’t wear them. Google found this out the hard way with Google Glass, where the geeky reputation of the device outweighed most, if not all, of its potential value.
Snapchat learnt from Google’s past and focused heavily on the looks and design when it first developed “Spectacles”.
Meta too wishes to provide its users with glasses that are both functional and fashionable, hence they partnered up with Essilor Luxottica, the makers of Ray-Ban, to build their smart glasses.
The AR glasses will be an addition to expanding Meta’s metaverse, as it will allow users to experience metaverse through the glasses and explore all that it has to offer.
Meta is also rolling out updated 3D avatars to facebook, Messenger and Instagram. And now you will be able to see these avatars on VR as well.
These avatars will be online animations that can be customized to look like the users. One can customize the avatar to match their face shape, skin tone, expressions, clothes, and now with the updates users can add hearing aids and wheelchairs.
And Meta has filed another patent (US PAT. NO. 11,217,036) which will enable the creation of a 3D avatar based on one or more images provided by the user. The patent elaborates how the system will compare the user’s collected data to a generic avatar model and determine the difference between the user and the generic model to create a personalized avatar. Once the basic model of the face is created, users can customize the characteristics such as hairstyle, facial hair and glasses etc to their liking. They might even go into the details of the face such as hair color, eyebrow shape, nose shape and width, and shape of lips, size of eyes, color of eyes and even the space between their eyes.
The images above show the process of how facial recognition will work. Once the system receives an image of the user, it will create a 3D map on the basis of which an online avatar of similar facial structure will be created.
People can then use these personalized avatars to interact and participate more in the metaverse, as well as their profiles. These avatars will allow users to participate more in the metaverse and Meta’s AR glasses will be an aid to that.
The world of AI is speedily developing with new technologies and innovations popping up rapidly. And its attracting not just tech driven industries, but also other businesses. These glasses will be an aid to explore it more and perhaps we may see Meta make more contributions to the development of this AI market.