A manual uploaded to the FCC gives us an inside look at Facebook’s experimental Project Aria AR glasses, which are apparently codenamed Gemini (through protocol). Facebook announced Project Aria in September 2020, with a big message of vision and light on details – although it was clear that the device exists to help Facebook in its quest (no pun intended) to create a computer that will change the world. see and understand. seeing actual headset manual gives us a bit of an idea of how it does that.
In some ways, the Gemini headset is like real glasses, but in other ways it’s not at all: it can be fitted with corrective lenses if necessary, but you can’t fold the arms down or use it in VR headphones. And of course it’s packed with things that normal glasses don’t have, like a proximity sensor, Qualcomm chip, and according to protocol, the same camera sensors as in the Oculus Quest 2.
The glasses are charged with a Fitbit-like magnetic connector, which can also transfer data. There is a companion app for uploading data that the glasses collect and for checking connection status and battery life.
While the guide gives us an interesting look at a project Facebook hasn’t shared much about yet, it’s not up to date. It appears that the version found on the FCC’s site is version 0.9 of the document, dated August 28, 2020 — it’s likely that Facebook made some changes in the past year.
Facebook says on his Project Aria site that the glasses are not a commercial product. They don’t act as a prototype for something that the general public will eventually buy. This is echoed by the many statements in the manual that the headset is a technical product and should only be used by people who work for Facebook. The company has said the headset will be worn by researchers on campuses and in public, though it says all data collected is anonymized and the headset has a “privacy mode.”
While Aria may not hit the shelves, Facebook does have a very different set of “smart glasses” it plans to release in partnership with Ray-Ban. Like the Aria, Facebook says they won’t actually magnify your reality with a screen, so it’s unclear at this point what will make them smart.