- Facebook sees itself as the world leader in VR
As a promising year 2020 begins for virtual and augmented reality, Facebook's director of VR research, Michael Abrash, has just granted an interview to the website.
In this interview, Abrash cuts short any hopes that augmented reality glasses will take over the market in the years to come. According to him, it will take almost five years for a convincing product to be marketed. Moreover, taking the example of the smartphone market, he believes that AR glasses will not reach the ”Blackberry” stage before 2030.
According to him, the problem is that he is very difficult to integrate new technology screen and a tracking system with a simple pair of glasses. The task becomes even more complex when one wishes, in addition, to offer a full day of autonomy.
However, in the eyes of this specialist, the real challenge lies in developing an appropriate control system. No one will want to control their glasses with a controller, and consumers are unlikely to use voice or gesture commands in public. So it would be necessary that the glasses "guess" the intentions of the user.
However, when these technical hurdles have been overcome, Abrash confirms that AR glasses could replace smartphones. It all that remains is to wait for 10 to 20 years...
Facebook sees itself as the world leader in VR
Also during this interview, Michael Abrash also spoke about virtual reality. According to him, no company comes close to the ankle of Facebook in terms of investments in VR. Fact, " when the next generation of VR headsets appear, it will be because we created it ".
It is true that Facebook has invested heavily in research over the past few years. The goal of the American firm is to develop technologies that will allow virtual reality to evolve: varifocal screen, wide-field-of-view lenses, gaze and facial expression monitoring, haptic gloves, realistic avatars, wireless video transmission, etc.
Knowing that Microsoft and Google have both failed in their efforts to capture the VR market, Facebook is the last GAFAM competing in this sector. Its only serious competitors are Valve and HTC, but both currently struggle to compete with the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest in terms of innovation and price.
The manager also welcomes the way in which Mark Zuckerberg is involved in the advancement of virtual reality and believes in this technology. To his eyes, " augmented reality can replace the smartphone, but VR can replace the PC ".
However, during the last Oculus Connect, Michael Abrash himself made it clear that the next generation of VR headsets is “not for now”. For good reason, it is “ very difficult to transform revolutionary technologies into products "...