Meta’s Head of AR Hardware Teases Next-gen Transparent AR Glasses with Wide Field-of-view

Meta is full steam ahead on its mixed reality platform, however Head of AR Glasses hardware Caitlin Kalinowski says in a new interview with Android Central that its first augmented reality glasses will offer a real “wow” moment to users thanks to its “high field of view immersion.”

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed in late 2021 the company was working on Project Nazare, which is set to be the company’s “first fully augmented reality glasses.” Since then, Meta has revealed essentially nothing about the project beyond that initial announcement.

Now, Kalinowski echoes Zuckerberg’s nearly three year-old statement, telling Android Central that they’re indeed still working on transparent AR glasses which they define as showing “both the original photons of the real world in addition to what overlay you effectively want to have.”

That’s not really unusual as far as AR devices go, like HoloLens 2 or Magic Leap 2—a product category that typically uses waveguides pared with micoOLEDs in place of the passthrough cameras and traditional VR headset displays that we’re used to seeing in the company’s mixed reality headsets Quest 3 and Quest Pro.

What is unusual though is its purported “high field of view,” as Kalinowski calls it. Those bulky AR headsets of today provide somewhere in the range of 50 degree diagonal—something Microsoft was keen to fudge in HoloLens 2’s initial reveal in 2019. Typical VR headsets are around the 100 – 120 degree diagonal FOV range.

As Kalinowski notes, “[n]othing prepares you for the high field of view immersion” of Project Nazare, further saying Meta’s AR hardware team has been working to achieve the “same degree of ‘oh my God, WOW! I can’t believe this!’ that the original Rift was” for her.

Whatever the case, creating a high field-of-view AR pair of glasses—not a headset, helmet, goggles… glasses—is an entirely different prospect to pushing the company’s Meta Ray-Ban line of smart(er) sunglasses. In addition to serving up music, AI-assisted queries, and video capture in a small form factor, Meta Ray-Bans are seemingly becoming a test bed for the company’s object recognition system despite lacking any sort of AR display.

At its reveal, Zuckerberg said Project Nazare was “still a few years out” from release, and there’s been no further official word when that will be. Whenever it’s coming though, we’ll certainly have some pretty high expectations.

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