INTRO: Confirming past rumors, Facebook has partnered with RayBan parent company Essilor Luxottica to develop smart glasses. Through this partnership, the brands are planning to launch the first smart glasses sometime in 2021.
The exact details including name, specifications, software, and pricing are unknown for now. However, Facebook has confirmed to The Verge that the upcoming consumer-centric smart glasses will not have an integrated display. The company promises to share more information regarding these smart glasses next year.
“We’re hooked in to exploring devices which will give people better ways to attach with those closest to them. Wearables have the potential to do that. With EssilorLuxottica we’ve an equally ambitious partner who’ll lend their expertise and world-class brand catalogue to the primary truly fashionable smart glasses,” said Andrew Bosworth, vice chairman of Facebook Reality Labs.
Beyond thrilled to finally share a sneak peek of our Facebook partnership with Ray-Ban! Our first smart glasses will launch next year, and that’s just the beginning… The future will be a classic and it's coming in 2021 😎 pic.twitter.com/l9992ZQGoy
— Hugo Barra (@hbarra) September 16, 2020
According to Facebook Reality Labs VP Hugo Barra, the company has been in talks with Ray-Ban over the last couple of years to make this a reality. “Combining a brand that’s loved and worn by many consumers round the globe with technology that has brought the planet closer together, we will reset expectations around wearables,” says Rocco Basilico, Chief Wearables Officer at Luxottica.
Alongside this announcement, the social media giant has revealed Project Aria (image above), Facebook’s ongoing work on wearable AR glasses. Project Aria is a prototype device to help the company use sensors to capture video and audio from the wearer’s point of view, along with eye movement and location data.
Since it is a prototype, Facebook will not commercially launch its Project Aria glasses anytime soon. The company, however, will test the product with select Facebook employees and contractors in the United States in September.