Posted by: Alex Peery | November 20, 2017

Facebook and the Expansion into AR Technologies

Back in August, Mashable discussed new patents from Facebook that provided more information about their venture into AR glasses. This step has been inevitable since the purchase of Oculus VR in 2014. These glasses will be fairly unique, as the technology can be used for virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality or in any combination of those areas.

Mashable explains that the technology uses laser, mirrors and other elements to present images and video. Lasers emit light into the lens, which in turn will transforms it into media that will be projected on the eyes of the user. The technology is still about five years away from public use, according to Oculus’ chief scientist.

The glasses are designed to provide an immersive experience. Augmented reality will be blended with audio via connected speakers or headphones.

It’s important to note that these glasses will be an always-on wearable, similar to the way that Google’s Assistant or Amazon Alexa operate. The latter technologies have recently provoked questions questions about privacy and data collection. Facebook is no stranger to these concerns.

It is becoming quite clear that technology is outpacing both regulation and ethical research. This patent provides a glance into a technically impressive emerging technology. However, is Facebook to be trusted with the data that can be gleaned from such a device? These next big pieces of technology are exciting from the perspective of a consumer. As we move into the future, it will be important to also look at the reason why a company like Facebook wants to use this technology.

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Responses

  1. Facebook users will have to surrender to the social media site’s reach into an individual’s personal information as this is already happening anyway with its capabilities via one’s smartphone. There have been mysterious cases of ads popping up during an individual’s online activities, the subject of the ad never having been looked up, but only having merely been brought about in personal conversation. Of course Facebook denies this time an again (https://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2017/10/31/facebook-ads-microphone/#60408139534d) and says that it only uses the microphone when the user decides to take videos or update their statuses to “Listening to’s”. There IS a way to remove Facebook’s reach if one is willing to do a simple google search on this procedure.

    A lot of users aren’t buying this explanation as rumors continue to spread, with yours truly even conducting an experiment on talking about an item almost exclusively used by the elderly (I don’t want to mention it here just in case it might affect the results of my experiment) to see whether this item pops up in the ads section.

    Going back to concerns about Facebook’s AR glasses, I think it’s too late to be worried about privacy when a lot of personal information is already being heavily mined through smartphones alone. I, as a Facebook user, have already accepted this as part and parcel of my use and engagement with the platform. It seems that the only way to escape this reality is to go full off the grid, which is almost an impossibility for this generation.


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