Facebook ramped its AR efforts, revealing a research initiative called Project Aria focused on collecting data to inform development of future headsets.
Starting this month, a group of around 100 Facebook employees and contractors will wear glasses equipped with sensors to capture audio, video, eye movement and location data.
The company explained in a blog the information will “help our engineers and programmers figure out how AR can work in practice” and address potential problems “ahead of time”.
It emphasised privacy measures, with recording restricted to Facebook offices, the wearer’s home and public spaces. Testers will wear clothing identifying them, with an indicator light used to show when the devices are active.
Data collected will be encrypted with access restricted, with blurring of faces and other identifying features including car number plates.
Facebook will seek feedback from participants and the public about their experiences to study social norms associated with the use of AR glasses.
Separately, the company announced a multi-year partnership with Ray-Ban maker Luxottica to develop smart glasses, with the first pair due out in 2021.
The pair were previously rumoured to be developing AR glasses, targeting a launch between 2023 and 2025.