Meta AR Glasses And Companion Neural Interface Watch Details Leak With Roadmap

Despite misgivings about its metaverse plans, Facebook parent company Meta is plowing ahead with a roadmap that includes not only new Quest virtual reality headsets but also multiple pairs of smart glasses and companion input devices, according to a new leak. This isn't the first time we've heard word about Meta developing a more sophisticated pair of smart glasses, but assuming the leak is accurate, we may finally have a release timeframe for them, not to mention some intriguing details.

At the present moment, Meta boasts a wireless VR headset called the Quest 2, which is priced at $399.99 following a recent price hike. The next-generation Quest model is expected to arrive in late 2023, and the newly leaked roadmap reveals some details about it, as well as the alleged plan to release dozens of new VR games and apps to go alongside the launch. Perhaps the most interesting plan, however, is an alleged "neural interface" smartwatch that'll work as a companion to the upcoming higher-end smart glasses models.

Meta reportedly plans long line of smart glasses

VR headsets are old news at this point, and that's perhaps why Meta is pushing ahead with plans to release a more capable pair of smart glasses in 2025, at least according to a roadmap viewed and detailed by The Verge. Based on the details shared, this product will be joined by a "neural interface" smartwatch that serves as a companion input device for the glasses, perhaps paving the way for a future in which having a smartphone is no longer necessary. The smart glasses are described as an augmented reality device that may complement one's day-to-day activities.

Of note, Meta has already released a pair of smart glasses — assuming your definition of "smart glasses" is very broad. The 2021 Meta smart glasses feature a camera and open-ear audio alongside limited voice control. That's not quite what people imagine when it comes to smart glasses, however, and that's where the third-generation model will reportedly come in. According to The Verge, the model slated for release in 2025 will include a viewfinder through which the user will get access to some smart features, including real-time language translation and the ability to read incoming texts. That functionality will still be limited compared to the model reportedly scheduled for 2027, however.

The first pair of real AR smart glasses may not arrive until 2027

The leaked roadmap details allege that a "true" augmented reality smart glasses product will hit the market in 2027 following what will reportedly be three years of internal use and testing among Meta employees. The product is codenamed Orion, and will reportedly be available to the public in a more limited way initially while a less capable pair of smart glasses will get a more wide-scale launch. The optional neural interface watch reportedly set to arrive with the third-generation smart glasses in 2025 will see a second-generation upgrade alongside the Orion launch, assuming the company sticks with its current roadmap.

The big difference between Orion and the smart glasses that come before it will be actual augmented reality functionality, according to The Verge, in the sense that this product will be able to "project high-quality holograms of avatars onto the real world." Though the potential price point for these products wasn't revealed, they likely won't come cheap — and, in fact, the leak specifically notes that the Orion product will be on the pricey end of the spectrum.