For a brief moment it seemed that Google Glass and the concept of smartglasses was a failure given that Google shut down the project (the first iteration), and also based on the hostility towards users with smartglasses. However we haven’t seen similar backlash when Snap launched Spectacles which was basically a pair of augmented reality glasses.
Does this mean that AR-based wearables are due to become mainstream? According to Facebook, yes, but we shouldn’t expect that to happen until at least 2022. Speaking at Facebook’s F8 conference, Michael Abrash, Facebook’s chief scientist of Oculus Research said, “Despite all the attention focused on AR today it will be five years at best before we’re really at the start of the ramp to widespread, glasses-based augmented reality, before AR has its Macintosh moment.”
Abrash also goes on to add, “20 or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we’ll wear stylish glasses. Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between and we’ll use them all day.” That being said, it is interesting that Facebook is looking into AR tech, especially given that they have a vested interest in VR with their acquisition of Oculus.
However during the conference, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted that the company could have glasses or even contact lenses that could rival Snap’s offerings, although when exactly that will debut remains to be seen.