The first part of Meta’s augmented reality glasses it sells to the public won’t come with the high-end displays originally planned for the device, according to a new report from The Information. Sources tell the outlet that Meta’s AR glasses will instead feature older glass lenses and display technology.
As reported last year by The Verge, Meta’s first pair of consumer-facing AR glasses, codenamed Artemis, are set to be released in 2027. Meanwhile, the company is making its first-generation pair of AR glasses meant for select developers and internal testing next year.
Instead of including MicroLED displays for its consumer AR glasses, Meta will reportedly use Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) instead, an aging display technology that was first used for movie projectors in the ’90s. As noted by The Information’s Wayne Ma, this “technology isn’t known for its brightness,” which is vital for AR products, as they must be able to project graphics onto the real world even in bright environments.
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Additionally, Meta’s Artemis glasses will reportedly use a glass waveguide, a component that allows light to travel through the glasses and into your eyes, potentially limiting its field of view to 50 degrees. According to The Information, Meta had originally planned to use silicon carbide, which allowed for a 70-degree field of view. The downgrade could make it harder for Meta’s consumer-focused glasses to stand out among the competition, as both Microsoft’s second-gen HoloLens and the Magic Leap One sport a 50-degree field of view.
Although Meta plans on scaling back on the tech it will include in its second-gen glasses, The Information reports that the first version, destined only for developers and internal demos, will still come with the higher-end MicroLED displays and lenses with silicon carbide, allowing for a 70-degree field of view.
The displays aren’t the only things that Meta is downgrading for its first consumer AR glasses. The Information also reports that the company is swapping out some of the parts on the “oval-shaped wireless puck” that comes with the device to “offload parts of the computing.” The puck, which will reportedly feature a battery, 5G modem, and a touchpad, will no longer come with a lidar sensor as originally planned. This was supposed to “detect the device’s surroundings and import 3D objects including faces and bodies into the digital world,” The Information says.