Oculus dropped major information about a new augmented reality glasses project at its 6th annual Oculus Connect event this year. This confirms the long-time rumors of the company delving into AR, pushing forward its service and product strategies towards an integrated VR/AR experience.
The first introductory details of the project presented the incorporation of what is known as LiveMaps. Explained briefly, it is essentially a complex data layer comprised of many different collated data about a specific location’s actual three-dimensional space. Unlike regular AR that simply uses direct imaging data while analyzing what is sees on the camera, the upcoming Oculus AR glasses will include this LiveMaps data layer to provide a significantly in-depth level of immersion towards any information “rendered” in real life.
The presentation has a rather distinct focus towards usability and practicality, as opposed to delivering immersion towards any sort of graphical interface like most other AR product introduction. The demo video only presented very little 3D graphical stuff, mostly only to introduce the LiveMaps system. For the most part, it showed “hovering information” in many different situations, and to any sort of place or location where that bit of data is most relevant.
While Oculus specifically mentions the product being a pair of glasses, there was actually no visual product or prototype that was presented in the event. Hopefully, it will be a bit more discreet than current experimental and/or development-phase ones like the HoloLens and Magic Leap. Especially since the presentation specifically mentions being able to use the product as easy as using any mobile device with access to the internet and/or virtual assistant.
Regardless of how the actual device turns out, concepts introduced at the event, such as AR avatars able to render themselves within the LiveMaps 3D space instantly, would still predictably provide more exciting ideas that would definitely step the game up for current AR technology.
So for now, Oculus’ AR announcement remains as a teaser.