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