Facebook’s Project Aria: Research wearable to understand tech for AR glasses

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Facebook is all geared up to build wearable augmented reality glasses in the near future and this is evident through the company’s announcement of Project Aria. A product of Facebook Research Labs, Project Aria is termed as a research project that will allow Facebook to understand how to build “software and hardware” that’s necessary for Augmented Reality glasses.

These glasses are not consumer ready or for that matter even a prototype yet – the company states these are a research device laden with sensors to capture audio and video from “wearers point of view, as well as eye movement and location data,” all gathered to let programmers and engineers figure out how augmented reality can work on glasses of the future.

Project Aria is all set to start mapping the real world using a pair of glasses embedded with sensors. Starting this month, these will be available to about hundred Facebook employees and contractors in San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle.

For privacy and security, all these participants will only “record in Facebook offices, wearers’ private homes, and public spaces.” Recording will not be done in stores or restaurants without written consent or in sensitive areas like restrooms, prayer rooms, or meetings etc.

When recording the devices “will display a prominent white light” indicating that the data is being collected, users can disable recording using a physical mute button on the glasses or even delete certain segment of data. Facebook assures the data from Project Aria will be secured by encryption and saved directly to the company’s storage system.

Project Aria will also deliver first perspective data required to build LiveMaps – virtual “3D maps” required to “meet the potential of AR” and “train personalized assistant” that will help people relish the tech someday. Facebook will also be working with Carnegie Mellon University’s Cognitive Assistance Lab to build “3D maps of museums and airports.” This pilot project will help visual impaired navigate these areas more freely.

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