Meta's Reality Labs division is burning billions of dollars, but it isn't all about virtual reality headsets. Andrew Bosworth, the head of Reality Labs, said in a post on Monday that the company is putting half of its operating expenses towards augmented reality.
Meta has been pushing towards its vision of augmented reality glasses for a long time, and has recently taken steps to get closer to it. Last year's Ray-Ban Stories sunglasses look like regular glasses and are equipped with cameras, and the Meta Quest Pro is capable of more virtual reality thanks to its color pass through.
Even with how much the company is investing in augmented reality, the fully complete glasses product from Meta could be a long time away. It will take years of progress making our devices slimmer, lighter, faster, and more powerful, all while consuming less battery power and generating less heat. The first version of Meta's augmented reality glasses will be for developers only and the company is working on three different versions of the glasses over the course of years.
According to a Monday report from The Information, Meta's augmented reality glasses could be used with more hardware. The company is testing a device that could be used to send commands to the glasses or access more computing power for them, according to The Information. Meta tried to make a wristwatch to pair with the glasses, but it ran into problems.
In his post, Bosworth talked about other aspects of Reality Labs work that could be updated in the future. He said that the company is working hard to improve its widely ridiculed avatar system and that there is more to come. In October it was shared that it figured out legs. Meta is going to spend 2023 focused on helping this community flourish, even as it struggles to keep users. There will be an official reveal of the successor to the Meta Quest 2 in the spring, as well as a showcase of the game in the summer.
Bosworth recaps the year and lays out what to expect in the future. His post is intended to show Meta's commitment to the future of virtual reality and augmented reality. Meta wants to put its best foot forward after John Carmack left.
A lightweight Meta Quest competitor will be announced in a few weeks at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show. The device will be capable of virtual and augmented reality. Next year, Apple is expected to reveal a high-end headset for virtual reality and augmented reality. New competitors are expected to join Meta in building for augmented and virtual reality next year. We will have to wait and see if the company is able to make all of its investments worth it.