What is Meta’s Project Nazare?
Project Nazare by Meta : True augmented reality glasses — ones that project holograms onto your surroundings, retrieve data from the cloud, and react intuitively to your movements — have been long in development.
But it is only now in 2021 that the market has gained momentum with major announcements in the segment from Facebook (now Meta), Apple and several other companies.
Meta has launched a number of initiatives to deliver on the promise of true AR glasses, and Project Nazare is one of them.
Project Nazare can be defined as an AR glasses device that would allow the wearer to communicate with others on their network, see people as 3D avatars, and interact with them in real time using assets , tools and 3D digital accessories.
It’s important to note that Project Nazare is the code name for Meta’s upcoming AR glasses and its official consumer-facing name has yet to be decided.
Meta’s vision behind the Nazare project and the associated Aria project
Project Nazare was first announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg during his Connect 2021 keynote. Amidst a slew of other announcements, Zuckerberg mentioned Project Nazare almost in passing. and pitched a short mock concept explaining how the glasses might work.
“Today I want to show you an experiment that we worked on for the Nazare project, which is the code name for our first complete augmented reality glasses,” he said before recounting a case of potential use for Nazare AR goggles. .
In the demo, a user wears the AR glasses while chatting with friends on WhatsApp. The group is planning a game night and can quickly select a game from the catalog available directly in the chat stream.
Once the game is selected, the user walks to a dining area and the Nazare glasses project a holographic image of the game with the 3D avatars of the user’s friends onto the dining table.
Essentially, Project Nazare would allow you to seamlessly transition from virtual conversations to realistic social experiences without wasting time.
Now, Nazare is one of three AR glasses projects announced by Zuckerberg during Connect 2021. Project Aria is another related initiative, which also aims to build a pair of AR glasses but without an integrated AR display.
Aria will collect data from a real environment so that every location, object, mark, landmark and other real-world elements are associated with digital data and metadata.
Nazare is perhaps relying on research enabled by Aria to make AR experiences as authentic as possible.
Key Features of Project Nazare AR Glasses Prototypes
While we don’t know much about Project Nazare’s line of AR glasses just yet, a few features emerged from Zuckerberg’s keynote and mock demo.
- Field of view – Glasses should provide a wide field of vision, 200 to 220 degrees. The idea is to mimic human vision as accurately as possible and provide the wearer with enough flexibility to move seamlessly between the real world and the AR overlay.
- Form factor – Here’s where we have a little more detail on Project Nazare’s specs. Zuckerberg mentioned that Meta’s new AR glasses could be around 5mm or 3/16 inch thick. Since a standard pair of prescription glasses are between 2mm and 6mm thick, Nazare is poised to be quite wearable. Zuckerberg hinted that it’s this ambitious form factor that has so far kept Nazare from being ready for market launch.
- display – As expected, the Project Nazare AR glasses will have a fancy holographic display, powered by built-in projectors and batteries. This feature sets it apart from Project Aria, which only has an array of sensors to collect data without any image projection or interaction with the world.
- A range of sensors – The finalized AR glasses will have a number of sensors, cameras, speakers and radios built into its form factor to provide the user with an immersive experience. It will also help collect real-world data to continuously improve the experience.
All of these features will be backed by intensive developer efforts and decades of Mixed Reality Meta research.
During Connect, the company also announced initiatives such as the Presence Platform and Updates to Trigger AR, which invite developers to richly populate the AR/VR world with digital assets.
When will the Nazare project be launched for general public use?
As of now, there is no official Project Nazare blog from Meta and no word on when it will launch. However, in its roundup of Connect 2021 announcements, Meta said Project Nazare will be officially available in “a few years”.
It might be worth the wait because Nazare will bring real, full-featured augmented reality in a user-friendly form factor – something that’s still mostly theoretical or business-oriented.
Considerations and potential challenges
The biggest challenge with Meta’s Nazare project is the significantly long delivery time. While research and development is ongoing, it will be some time before consumers have an official beta in their hands. Meanwhile, other competitors in the market are making moves.
For example, Apple’s equally ambitious AR glasses project is expected to launch in 2022 or 2023, which will overlay the user’s environment with useful information and digital resources.
Another challenge is general market readiness. The breakthrough of AR glasses has been in sight for some time, ever since we saw the first prototype of Google Glass in 2013. AR glasses have faced privacy issues, form factor challenges, adoption slow and at high prices – but the promise kept.
Project Nazare aims to consolidate the incredible work done in this field over the past two decades and finally achieve market viability through Meta’s formidable technological arsenal and market reach.
If you want to explore Meta’s wearable capabilities, the company’s new line of Ray-Ban eyewear is a good place to start. Ray-Ban Stories comes with built-in cameras, social media features, and a digital assistant (not a real AR), priced competitively at $299.