Apple and Facebook join race to build augmented reality glasses

Apple and Facebook are gearing up to challenge start-up Magic Leap and Microsoft’s HoloLens in the race to create a pair of augmented reality glasses that could one day replace the smartphone as consumers’ primary computing device. Apple is stepping up its efforts in AR eyewear… while Facebook is also researching the technology that can make what chief executive Mark Zuckerberg calls “glasses small enough to take anywhere”. Both companies, however, are set to be beaten to market by Magic Leap, the secretive Florida-based company that has raised $1.4 billion from investors including Alphabet and Alibaba. Magic Leap is currently preparing its long-awaited AR eyewear for release later this year… The “light-field” eyewear is said to be smaller than Microsoft’s HoloLens, with a wider field of view, but larger than a regular pair of glasses. The headgear will be tethered to a small pack that provides battery and processing power, to put in a pocket or attach to a belt, and is likely to cost in excess of $1,000… Among Silicon Valley’s heavyweights, Microsoft is furthest along in AR after unveiling HoloLens two years ago.


Tim Bradshaw