As first reported by PocketGamer, Facebook is advertising a few new posts at its VR subsidiary Oculus, laced with the notion that a Facebook-built AR headset is definitely on the rise.
We knew the company was creating AR headsets behind closed doors—so much was clear from what Facebook’s head of AR Ficus Kirkpatrick told TechCrunch late last year.
“We are building hardware products. We’re going forward on this … We want to see those glasses come into reality, and I think we want to play our part in helping to bring them there.”
Now, Oculus has published a few job listings that make strong mention of ‘AR glasses’, namely Product Designer – AR Platform, Product Design Prototyper – AR Experiences, and Head of AR/VR Marketing Strategy and Operations.
For both product designer positions, Oculus/Facebook says this in the job title:
“Augmented Reality will change our lives as fundamentally as personal computers and smartphones have. AR glasses will let you transcend space, conjure objects and devices into existence and amplify your senses, memory and cognition. Our mission is centered on designing useful technology and getting it out into the world. We are looking for motivated, team-oriented user experience designers who want to change the world and who are able to thrive in ambiguous new design spaces. Join our team of designers who are inventing the future of Augmented Reality and help define wearable AR experiences for Facebook.”
In the job description for the head of AR/VR marketing, the company says “[i]n the future, our AR glasses will merge the physical and digital worlds, blending what’s real with what’s possible, resulting in the next mainstream, must-have, wearable consumer technology.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard AR rumblings from Facebook though.
Business Insider reported in January that the company had moved hundreds of employees from their Facebook Realities Lab experimental facility to a new division centered around creating their AR glasses. The move was confirmed by Facebook representative Tera Randall, albeit without the exact number. One source contends it was in the order of 650 employees. Another told Business Insider it was 400.
Randall also told Business Insider that by moving its employees, it effectively “brought the AR product work into our product org and out of research, now that we are closer to shipping.
Business Insider’s report, another source maintained the glasses were originally scheduled for release in 2020, but was since pushed back to around 2022. Randal disputed this time frame, although stated the company has “an exciting AR road map that includes multiple products.”
There are over a dozen positions currently available across Facebook and Oculus that mention ‘AR’ in their job titles. While some are likely intended to grow the company’s existent offering, Spark AR Studio—a tool that lets creators build interactive AR experiences for Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp—many job seems to include the notion that a wearable AR headset is on the rise.