Will Meta (Facebook) beat Apple in a future tech race? A look at the Nazare project
So many of us are excited about the new Galaxy S22 smartphones and the next ones iPhone 14, but looking further into the future – AR is getting closer and closer to a boom, potentially changing our world.
What is AR? Augmented reality, and by many accounts your favorite smartphone brands, and tech brands in general, are either already working on it and being open about it, or working on it in relative secrecy. Either way, most if not all of them are investing in that potential “next big thing”.
Over the past few months, we’ve already covered Apple AR Glasses several times. And the reason – as smartphone enthusiasts these are currently the most exciting to look forward to, especially given Apple CEO Tim Cook’s promising words about AR and the many Apple AR device patents we have seen.
But of course, it’s not just Apple working on wearable AR devices. Another corporate goliath, which recently changed its name from Facebook to Meta, is also working on what it calls Project Nazare. And that’s exactly what we’re going to get acquainted with today.
Even if you feel like you don’t care about VR (virtual reality) or AR at the moment, but are interested in where consumer technology might go – as an eye-catcher future, you will certainly find it interesting to learn about the Nazare project.
After all, again, chances are AR is the future, even if the world doesn’t know it yet!
Meta AR glasses explained and what makes them exciting
Meta’s Project Nazare, or what many would surely call – Facebook’s AR glasses, will essentially show the holograms of their wearers mixed in with the real world, which is pretty much what the term “augmented reality” also means.
Whether you’re interacting with floating YouTube videos while simultaneously cooking a meal in your kitchen, watching a sporting event yourself as a hologram, or meeting friends halfway around the world, again in the form of a hologram…ar umbrella.
Apparently, that’s how Meta envisions the future of AR, visiting you at a festival as a hologram (Better than not visiting at all, right?)
What Meta’s AR project aims to deliver is quite similar to what Apple’s AR glasses will also provide – smartphone functionality, but in a whole new way.
Connecting with friends and using the internet in general will never be the same again, once these giant companies start rolling out their cutting-edge AR glasses, and as Tim Cook once said about AR – “[AR] will happen, it will happen in a big way, and we will wonder when it will happen, how we ever lived without it. As if we were wondering how we live without our phones today.”
But a picture is worth a thousand words, and what’s a video, but a whole bunch of sequential images… So let’s watch a video from Facebook and see what it aims to bring with Project Nazare.
You can see Facebook’s exact vision… Oops, I meant Meta’s exact vision of what its augmented reality glasses will deliver to you – the consumer and everyone you know – in the recent “Gaming in the metaverse” video from company below:
Interestingly, in very Apple fashion, Meta has disabled comments below the video, which may prevent any criticism or potential negativity from being attached to this project. Because yes, especially at first glance, AR coming from Meta (Facebook) may not be everyone’s favorite idea…
But it still comes. And speaking of what – when?
Will Meta AR glasses beat Apple’s AR glasses in the market?
So when exactly can you put on a pair of (unusually thick and heavy) tech-packed glasses, and start living in the Bladerunner movies seeing and interacting with holograms, mixed in with your real world?
Good, Apple has been very quiet about its AR glasses, but we know from CEO Tim Cook’s mentions and from patents released by the Cupertino company that he’s been working on AR for at least five years now. There is a good chance that Apple’s AR glasses will be unveiled this year!
Digitimes released a late 2021 report supporting this theory, claiming that Apple’s first AR headset has completed the second phase of prototype testing and will be released in the second half of 2022. Additionally, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, a respected tech analyst who’s been reliable with his predictions in the past, suggested a similar release date for Apple AR Glasses – in the coming months.
As for Meta’s AR glasses – well, they could be further developed and released, or at least unveiled as a near-complete prototype even sooner.
This theory is based on the fact that Meta actually started much earlier than Apple when it came to wearable AR and VR.
Long before Facebook rebranded to the new name Meta, the company acquired Oculus in 2014. And Oculus is a legendary virtual reality company! Thanks in large part to him and his VR headsets, VR has now become quite a popular home entertainment format.
Meta demonstrating how its AR solution will allow people to connect and play together even when physically apart
It’s also worth noting that Oculus’ latest user-friendly, standalone VR headset – the Oculus Quest 2 running Android – is actually capable of delivering an AR experience, I wrote about, and it’s promising! Impressive, even, given that this device wasn’t even intended for doing AR, just VR gaming.
Now, given that Meta has about 10 years of experience in VR, against its Oculus asset, while Apple has probably been working on AR for about 5 years, it’s reasonable to expect Facebook to beat Apple in hand.
Either way, we can reasonably expect 2022 to be quite exciting, the start of something new – a new era of consumer AR technology that will slowly but surely replace our smartphones. Just as smartphones have slowly replaced telephones, calculators, MP3 players, televisions and even computers…
If you’re interested in Meta’s long version of what he wants to achieve with AR, check out his nearly 1.5 hour video “The Metaverse and How We’ll Build It Together” below.
It covers a wide range of AR possibilities, from the obvious – AR gaming and socializing, to AR fitness, AR in education, and more. But of course, how far this vision of AR really is, only Meta knows…
Want to learn more about Apple’s AR glasses?
We haven’t talked too much about Apple’s AR glasses in this one, but if you want to know more about them, we’ve already covered them. To verify:
And share with us – what do you think about augmented reality? And do you think Facebook will beat Apple in the race to launch the first user-friendly AR glasses? Or maybe Samsung will come out of nowhere with a pair, beating both, just as it outsold every other major brand in the foldable phone race?