ue to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in virtual interactions and so, to continue providing the best service, Facebook is expanding its AI-based augmented reality (AR) initiative. 

The Facebook Reality Labs are planning to develop a stylish, lightweight pair of AR glasses which will allow the wearer to engage with family and friends in a safe way regardless of how many miles are in between. 

The company is also taking into account the ergonomic benefits of AR glasses which are worn on the face, it makes interactions seem more authentic, as opposed to constantly glancing down at a smart device. 

The idea of augmented reality glasses have been compared by the Facebook Reality labs team to the development of the graphical user interface (GUI) and the mouse in terms of the impact of human-computer interaction. The company hopes that these AR glasses will be able to be worn throughout an entire day and be able to enhance the users visual environment though displaying augmented data in real time. 

The Facebook team aims to make the AR glasses as user friendly as possible, including  making them comfortable to wear, functionally reliable, easy to use as well as secure and private. To achieve this, the Lab has devised a set of principles for responsible innovation.  

The most important of these principles include considering all potential users and adjacent individuals who may be impacted, and prioritising the community's rights over commercial profit, providing transparent controls that users can make sense of and never surprising users with how a product functions.

An example scenario given by Facebook of how these glasses work was set in a cafe. When the wearer enters, the glasses automatically order the wearer’s favourite drink. The AR glasses are also able to activate the wearer's in-ear monitors (IEMs) to dampen any excess noise from the surrounding environment. Additionally, the AR glasses have access to the wearer’s contact list, allowing them to make a call without the need to open a phone as well as displaying calendar events and even predict the best travel route based on traffic conditions.

Many other augmented reality glasses have focused on the advances in technology, however, the Facebook AR glasses’ main design is to focus on daily human interactions. By following the wearer’s daily routine, the AR AI adds to its data by acting, learning and sensing based on the everyday actions of that specific wearer. 

As the AR glasses learn through a technological pillar known as ultra-low-friction input, the glasses will aim to anticipate the wearer's intentions. This particular function could therefore predict the wearer’s movements, allowing the device to predict the every movement of the wearer, decreasing the time from intention to action. Finally, the AR adopts a trifecta of AI, context and personalisation in order to contextualise a wearer's desires and needs based on that person's individual habits.

Mar 11, 2021
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