Facebook's VP of AR/VR Development Confirms that the company is considering the use of Facial Recognition Cameras on their Smartglasses
On Thursday Facebook’s VP of augmented and virtual reality Andrew Bosworth confirmed a report that the company is "looking at" incorporating facial recognition technology for its upcoming smartglasses, but only if people want that feature, according to a CNBC report. Remember, this feature caused an uproar when Google Glass offered a similar feature (01, 02 & 03) and likely one of the factors in killing Google Glass.
Andrew Bosworth confirmed the report in a video posted to his Instagram account Thursday evening during a Q&A session with his followers.
Asked if "Facebook is considering offering facial recognition on its smart glasses products?," Bosworth said, “We’re looking at it."
"It’s really a debate we need to have with the public,” Bosworth added. “If people don’t want this technology, we don’t have to supply it. The product is going to be fine either way. There are some nice use cases out there, if it’s something people are comfortable with."
Facebook is ready for this because Facebook won a patent for a depth camera system specifically for glasses that uses similar type of camera used for Apple's Face ID back in April 2020. To be on glasses would mean it has to has a longer range depth camera to accomplish this.
Bosworth's comments came after BuzzFeed reported that the hardware executive said Facebook was weighing the legal implications of such a technology during an internal company meeting.
Bosworth further noted that there are ethical concerns with the numerous ways that face recognition and always-on cameras and microphones could be abused.
Lastly Bosworth stated that "We’re working hard with our partner Luxottica making sure the form factor is right, making sure the functionality is good, and it’s coming together pretty nicely." For more on this, read the full CNBC report.
Facebook has been wanting to get ahead of Apple on the smartglasses front for some time. Back in December 2019 Patently Apple posted a report titled "Facebook has been working on Smartglasses to Replace Smartphones that includes a secret new OS to make it happen."
In a follow-up report of ours in 2020 titled "Facebook is determined to stay ahead of Apple on HMDs and Win the Race on being first with Smartglasses to replace Smartphones," it covered more Facebook smartglasses patents and news that Facebook was working with "Plessey" on micro-LED displays for their smartglasses and more. At one point in time Apple was attempting to acquire Plessey, but failed.