Facebook beats out Apple with exclusive AR glasses display buy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2020
Facebook has forged a big deal with an AR display manufacturer to build a future augmented reality glasses platform with Plessey, a company that was once a rumored target of an Apple buyout.

Facebook's Oculus Quest VR headset
Facebook's Oculus Quest VR headset


In the escalating augmented reality and virtual reality battlefield, Facebook has struck a deal with Plessey. The display manufacturer will license its technology to Facebook, and dedicate all of its production to the company for the "next several years."

Facebook has confirmed the deal, saying that it will construct a "glasses form factor that lets devices melt away so we can be more present with our friends, families, and surroundings." The company also says that the effort will take "years" to complete.

Plessey is not a startup. The core of the company was formed in 1917, and has gone through a century of acquisitions and divestments. At present, the biggest focus of the company is microLED displays, with a large production site in Roborough, Plymouth.

A report in The Information on Monday made the Apple connection. Citing "two people familiar with the matter," Apple recently looked at an acquisition of the firm.

Plessey says that it has a microLED display that will consume less power than other screens, with less weight contributed to the device.

Apple isn't squeezed out of microLED for AR and VR applications, however. Foxconn increased supply of the screens in 2019, but it isn't clear where the expansion is.

Apple has explored the possibility of working with companies over microLED technology, which could be used beyond AR, and in the iPhone and the Apple Watch. Apple also acquired display producer LuxVue, which owns patents relating to microLED usage, and operates a secret facility believed to be used for developing microLED.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 222member
    Won't be getting glasses from Facebook. LOL.
    StrangeDaysSpamSandwichdysamoriaprismaticsallmypeopledavenolswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Want zero to do with FB.....the number 1 scumbag of companies!!!!
    StrangeDaysdysamoriaprismaticsallmypeopleflyingdpolswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Perhaps, and it is most probably, Apple was not interested. Different technology, different software which Apple intend to develop, or quasi ready
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Apple iView    B)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,325member
    Which part of this is Facebook beating out Apple? Was it an active dueling bidders situation? If not, and Apple walked away some time ago, it’s hard to see it as Facebook beating Apple. 
    edited March 2020 dysamoriauraharaallmypeopleflyingdptmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,336member
    Love the headline... Apple Fails Again!
    StrangeDaysSpamSandwichuraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Until AR glasses are comparable to the size, weight and look of regular glasses, the market will remain niche.
    dysamoriaflyingdptmayolswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    lkrupp said:
    Love the headline... Apple Fails Again!

    lol
    If Apple doesn't watch it's self, Facebook might become a bigger social networking company than Apple! Oh noes!
    /s
    hammeroftruthwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    That headline is quite desperate. 
    StrangeDaysuraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    lkrupp said:
    Love the headline... Apple Fails Again!
    Rayz2016 said:
    That headline is quite desperate. 
    My Dog the defensiveness... I don’t see Apple being “beat” here myself, because it’s a niche and mostly nowhere tech in the first place, but the defensiveness...

    In the escalating augmented reality and virtual reality battlefield,...”

    Escalating battlefield? I’m not seeing it. Possibly because I’m no longer a tech geek, and I’m not obsessed with bleeding-edge gadgetry that may never actually have a place in daily life. It seems like just another notion of “we could make millions on this if we get there first”, so people keep throwing money and hype at it, hoping to eventually be “the one”.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 11 of 19
    Facebook's share price will get a healthy boost from this acquisition as Wall Street loves Facebook and Zuckerberg for turning subscriber's personal information into a goldmine. Anything Facebook does will certainly excite Wall Street more than what Apple does. Apple is always seen as a loser when it comes to offering new products. I'm not sure how these glasses actually help a data-mining company but I must be missing something. I never use Facebook so I have no idea how these glasses would be integrated into a social media site. Maybe some sort of virtual sex usage would be fun for subscribers.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,283member
    lkrupp said:
    Love the headline... Apple Fails Again!
    You know, Apple does fail from time to time and it’s fine and actually good to talk about it. Apple is far from perfect. They do an amazing job but they couldn’t be where they are without the innovation from other companies. 
  • Reply 13 of 19
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,325member
    dysamoria said:
    lkrupp said:
    Love the headline... Apple Fails Again!
    Rayz2016 said:
    That headline is quite desperate. 
    My Dog the defensiveness... I don’t see Apple being “beat” here myself, because it’s a niche and mostly nowhere tech in the first place, but the defensiveness...
    It’s not defensiveness to question the editorial slant on a headline, when it seemingly doesn’t match the content of the story. You yourself agreed, are you being defensive? Nope. Neither is anyone else. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,325member

    lkrupp said:
    Love the headline... Apple Fails Again!
    You know, Apple does fail from time to time and it’s fine and actually good to talk about it. Apple is far from perfect. They do an amazing job but they couldn’t be where they are without the innovation from other companies. 
    Which has jack to do with this story, or what he was pointing out — the common tech media narratives (generally not here) that Apple is losing ground, losing talent, losing market share, losing the script, etc... 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,647member
    The gist of this article is that Plessey shows up at the AR Ball with its microLED dancing shoes on, but Facebook quickly asks Plessey to dance before Apple does, so Apple is somehow left standing on the sidelines with nobody to dance with for the foreseeable future. I don't buy it. Apple obviously had an opportunity to seal the deal with Plessey and decided not to do so for a reason, and it's unlikely that the reason was money. Plessey is really just the remnant of a once larger conglomerate, like a little GE, so its lineage isn't really a factor for Apple to feel sorry about. What really matters is that whatever dancing partner Apple finally does choose has something great in its forward looking portfolio and can quickly execute at the scale and level of sophistication that Apple demands. Who knows, Apple may even groom an existing partner for this role.
    edited March 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,289member
    „Data-vacuuming Company With Atrocious Privacy Issue History Signs Deal With Tech Company Never Purchased by Apple to Build Product Pre-Empting Product Nobody Knows About in Unknown Ways“ really doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely, I admit. 
    avon b7watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,218member
    pujones1 said:
    Won't be getting glasses from Facebook. LOL.
    Hasn't stopped people from buying Oculus VR headsets. 

    I never use Facebook so I have no idea how these glasses would be integrated into a social media site. Maybe some sort of virtual sex usage would be fun for subscribers.
    Well, here's what they did in VR. Not sure how much it's changed since 2017.
    https://www.engadget.com/2017-04-18-facebook-spaces-hands-on.html

    As for AR, that might be a little different, but the main thing to consider is that they're not building these to focus on Facebook itself, just as Oculus isn't focused on that either. 
  • Reply 18 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member

    lkrupp said:
    Love the headline... Apple Fails Again!
    You know, Apple does fail from time to time and it’s fine and actually good to talk about it. Apple is far from perfect. They do an amazing job but they couldn’t be where they are without the innovation from other companies. 
    Which has jack to do with this story, or what he was pointing out — the common tech media narratives (generally not here) that Apple is losing ground, losing talent, losing market share, losing the script, etc... 
    The real point, of course, that Apple has never been first to market with anything. 

    Not music players
    No smartphones. 
    Not tablets
    Not even smart watches. 

    The short-sighted amongst us, such as Dysamoria and Sirlance, think that It’s a huge deal that Apple isn’t first to market or “that Apple isn’t innovating” or Apple is the making the device they want at a price they’re willing to pay. 

    That, and the headline, is pure analyst thinking. 

    When Apple came up with the Apple Watch, they weren’t thinking ‘wearable device’, they were thinking ‘healthcare, emergency response, secure access.’

    The widget is not the end goal, the benefit it brings to customers is the end goal. It’s basic product strategy. 

    Look at all the people who don’t get why Apple is getting into AR. The same people are probably locked down in their homes right now, and still can’t see the benefits of AR. 
    dewmewatto_cobra
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