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Meta Plans to Showcase Its Next-Gen AR Glasses Later This Year

With hype around Apple’s Vision Pro sparking more interest in AR and mixed reality, Meta is now looking to take the next steps with its AR glasses project, with reports that Zuck and Co. will unveil their next-gen AR glasses prototype at the company’s Connect conference later this year.

According to a new report from Business Insider, Meta will look to provide a live demo to showcase its advancements in AR tech, though the glasses won’t be commercially available this year.

As per BI:

“The company’s first version of what’s considered “true” AR glasses, an internal project referred to as Orion, is poised to be revealed this fall, most likely during Meta’s annual Connect conference for third-party developers. The AR team is also being pushed to have the high-tech glasses demoed during Connect, so there’s internal pressure to ensure a high level of performance, according to two people familiar with the plans.”

Meta’s been developing its AR glasses for several years, and has provided various glimpses at the progress that it’s made along the way.

Late last year, Meta’s CTO Andrew Bosworth said that the company’s AR glasses prototype is “significantly advanced”, and that he expects to see some developers get their hands on a pair later this year. Yet, at the same time, Bosworth also noted that the device is still too costly for a consumer product at this stage, which is where Meta will be focusing its efforts moving forward, in order to reduce the price ahead of a planned consumer launch in 2027.

Essentially, Meta’s confident that it already has a working version of AR wearable, and with Apple gaining momentum in the space, Meta would also be wary of letting it gain too much presence, which is likely why it’s now looking to show off its own glasses and progress.

Meta’s Orion glasses will reportedly be a separate product from its current Ray Ban Stories glasses, though stylistically, they’ll likely be more compact than the snow goggle-like Vision Pro headset.

In fact, according to an unnamed Meta insider, the current working version of the device is actually visible in this image, which Zuckerberg posted on Instagram recently.

Zuckerberg AR glasses

I mean, there are ten different glasses/headsets within the frame, so take your pick, but one of these is likely the most up-to-date version of Meta’s AR device, which is what it will be showcasing later this year.

Interestingly, the planned demonstration also comes after Zuckerberg recently reviewed the Vision Pro himself, and found that (shockingly), Meta’s Quest Pro headset is already a better option for mixed reality use.

As per Zuck:

“I expected that Quest would be the better value for most people, since it’s really good and it’s like seven times less expensive. But after using it, I don’t just think Quest is the better value. I think that Quest is the better product, period.”

Zuckerberg says that the Quest unit is better than Vision Pro for playing games, hanging out with friends, and working out, among other functions. Zuckerberg also said that the Quest 3 was lighter and more comfortable to wear, and was basically superior in every way, despite the Vision Pro’s high price tag.

Given the emphasis on price, it makes sense that Meta will be making this a key focus, and it’ll be interesting to see exactly what form Meta’s AR device takes, when it is finally released.

But basically, the next tech battleground looks increasingly like being an AR race.

Will Meta be able to come up with a more stylistic, cheaper version, or will Apple’s Vision Pro approach eventually pay major dividends?

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