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Meta’s prototype ‘full holographic’ glasses could be a game changer for Web3

Validated Media

Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg thinks smart glasses with holographic displays will slowly supplant the mobile phone as humanity’s primary communications and computing device. 

In a recent interview with YouTuber Kane “Kalloway” Sutter, the billionaire tech mogul expounded on a number of topics including artificial intelligence and open source. But, when asked by host Kalloway what Meta’s most exciting future product was, Zuckerberg gave a full-throated endorsement for a set of glasses — the kind you wear on your face — featuring cameras, microphones, speakers, and a full field-of-view (FOV) holographic display.

Beyond Ray-Ban Meta

Pundits in both the advertising world and the technoverse have, by and large, had a field day mocking Meta and Zuckerberg over their pivot from “Facebook,” the company behind the aptly named “Facebook” social media platform to “Meta,” the company that’s… working on the metaverse.

But Zuckerberg is evidently bullish on the notion that the smartphone is at the beginning of its end and smartglasses will be the next big thing. He explained to Kalloway that wearable holographic displays wouldn’t completely replace smartphones, much like the smartphone didn’t entirely supplant the desktop or laptop computer.

However, with the proper hardware and software, Zuckerberg believes that smartglasses will become useful enough for most people to leave their phones in their pockets most of the time.

First, however, the company needs to progress the technology. According to Zuckerberg, Meta has three separate products in mind. Firstly a “displayless” glasses product featuring voice AI (this already exists in Ray-Ban Meta), second a “little bit of a heads-up display” without full holography, and finally a “premium version” with a full field of view holographic display.

Meta hopes to bridge the gap between Ray-Ban Meta, a product with no display, and bulky headsets better suited for virtual reality (VR) than augmented/mixed reality (A/MR).

According to Zuckerberg, glasses featuring a full FOV holographic display would allow for seamless real-time communications, informational overlays, a heads up display similar to that you’d find in a video game or military operator’s equipment, and more. And they wouldn’t be much bulker than regular glasses — “they’re unmistakably glasses, they’re not a headset,” he insisted.

Zuckerberg also discussed why people would want to get information via a pair of glasses instead of just glancing at our smartphones when we need to.

The way he and host Kalloway describe things, constantly checking our smartphones for information relevant to our current situation has a disengaging effect. Or, as Kallaway put it, it’s a habit that “shatters your presence.”

A neural interface without the surgery

Another exciting use case for smartglasses is as the primary display for a neural interface. The most popular big tech neural interface right now might be Elon Musk’s Neuralink, but that has the downside of requiring an invasive procedure to install.

As Zuckerberg put it:

“I think most people are not going to want something wired into their brain.”

Meta is currently working on a neural wristband. This would be a wearable device that measures and interprets nerve signals, as opposed to a brain computer interface that measures signals directly from the brain.

Ostensibly, Meta’s neural wristband could enable near-imperceptible physical movements such as a finger twitch to translate into digital communications. Combined with Meta’s prototype full FOV holographic displays, this could turn the real world into a boundless Web3 workspace and playground.

As to when we start seeing these products, Zuckerberg told Kalloway that Meta was taking its time to get things right, but the early feedback has been very positive:

“We’re almost ready to start showing the prototype version of the full holographic glasses. We’re not going to be selling it broadly. We’re focused on building the full consumer version of it rather than selling the prototype. But we’re going to start demonstrating the prototype to people, and that’s wild. Every person I’ve shown it to so far … their reaction, it's … giddy.”

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