The hype around smart glasses might have faded away over the last several years but they aren’t going away anytime soon. The most famous of them is the Google Glass which now carries the name Enterprise Edition; the tech giant came up with a new iteration last year squarely aimed at businesses. And now, Facebook has announced its plans to enter this segment of smart wearables with its first pair of smart glasses that are set to arrive next year. The California-based social media conglomerate will introduce the smart glasses in partnership with EssilorLuxottica – the makers of Ray-Ban eyewear. “After spending time with their team and visiting their factory, I knew that they were the right partner for us to help bring the best technology together with the best glasses,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook Connect livestream.
Facebook hasn’t given any information on the hardware of the smart glasses or its features. However, the company told The Verge that “the device will not be classified as an AR device.” Zuckerberg also announced an experimental research prototype called Project Aria. These prototype glasses will be worn by Facebook employees and contractors publicly beginning from this month and it will capture audio, video, eye-tracking, and location data to help Facebook develop its upcoming AR smart glasses. “It’s a research device that will help us understand how to build the software and hardware necessary for real, working AR glasses,” said Facebook’s vice president of the Reality Labs division Andrew Bosworth. “We’re passionate about exploring devices that can give people better ways to connect with those closest to them. Wearables have the potential to do that. With EssilorLuxottica we have an equally ambitious partner who’ll lend their expertise and world-class brand catalogue to the first truly fashionable smart glasses.”
— Luxottica (@Luxottica) September 16, 2020
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