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Facebook AR headset may look like a hat, but there's a method to the madness

Facebook AR
Facebook AR (Image credit: US Patent/Facebook)

Facebook has been transparent about its plans to launch a new augmented reality (AR) glasses, diving into its ambitions of creating a futuristic headset that can replace a portable laptop or a phone for on-the-go busy bees.

The social media giant stopped short at divulging the AR glasses' visual description, but according to a patent spotted by Founders Legal, Facebook may engineer an AR headset with a basketball cap-inspired design (via Gizmodo).

Facebook's baseball cap-inspired AR headset design looks awkward

Developing the perfect design for AR glasses is challenging. Engineers want to make sure the device is lightweight and comfortable, but at the same time, they want to pack in powerful internals, which are typically heavy and run hot.

One way Facebook seeks to resolve this hurdle is to draw inspiration from an everyday, comfortable accessory many people wear: baseball caps.

Facebook AR baseball cap

Facebook AR baseball cap (Image credit: U.S. Patent/Facebook)

The patent, which was filed in 2019 and finally published this week, says that Facebook is leaning toward the baseball cap form factor because it would provide more surface area for a complete, advanced AR system. On top of that, engineers can place heat-generating components in areas that would not singe the user.

Another reason why Facebook is eyeing the baseball cap form factor is because it has a brim, which can house subsystems that are not practical for eyewear designs, such as tracking cameras for the face, body and eyes.

The patent also suggests pairing the baseball-cap AR headset with vibrotactile , haptic-feedback devices such as wearable gloves and wristbands.

Facebook AR wearable gloves

Facebook AR wearable gloves (Image credit: US Patent/Facebook)

Unfortunately, Facebook's AR design vision doesn't stop at baseball caps.

Facebook AR fedora

Facebook AR fedora (Image credit: US Patent/Facebook)

Facebook AR visor

Facebook AR visor (Image credit: US patent/Facebook)

The patent says that the Facebook AR engineers may also draw inspiration from the following headwear: trucker hats, fitted or snapback hats, boater hats, western and cowboy hats, fedoras, visors, boater hats, cloches, gambler hats, ascot ad duckbill hats, lifeguard hats, outback hats, panama hats, safari hats, top hats and more.

If Facebook ends up putting any of these funky AR hat designs into market, I can't wait to see all memes and jokes that social media users will come up with. Thankfully, many patents don't make it to the final production stage; let's hope this rings true for this one.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!