- Facebook is all set to bring wearable smart glasses for consumers in 2021.
- Facebook has partnered with Ray-Ban maker Luxottica and is working on AR glasses.
- The Ray-Ban smart glasses will not have a display and will not be classified as an AR device.
Facebook at its seventh annual AR/VR conference which was recently rebranded as Facebook Connect announced consumer wearable smart glasses for 2021.
Facebook said that consumer smart glasses will be one step in its overall work on Augmented Reality (AR) glasses. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company will partner with Italian luxury eyewear giant Luxottica and that the wearable glasses will be branded by Ray-Ban.
"I could not be more excited to see two amazing, highly mission-driven teams working together to build a new generation of products that will reinvent fashion and technology. Our first — stylish & iconic — smart glasses will launch next year, and that's just the beginning," Hugo Barra, VP, Facebook Reality Teams in a tweet wrote.
"We don't have a product yet to share with you today but I am excited to share that we have formed a multi-year partnership starting with building and releasing our first pair of smart glasses next year," Zuckerberg said.
Sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that the smart glasses would not have a display and will not be classified as an AR device. Facebook will do extensive testing with its AR glasses prototype, Project Aria in the real world, with Facebook employees and contractors to work on issues around areas like privacy, video recording, and design, the Verge noted.
A video produced by Facebook, which was not a demonstration of the AR device, but showed relevant research into the device, depicted that the AR glasses will serve purposes like getting an overlay of street directions, music recommendations in a record store or even visual alert showing you where your lost keys went.
Facebook also announced that it will expand third-party creators' reach to both Messenger and Portal which means the effects they create through Spark AR, Facebook's AR program, can show up in that app and device. Facebook and messenger already had AR creators but they belonged to Facebook's in-house team.
"Every month, more than 600 million people use Spark AR across Facebook and Instagram. In just the last three months, more than 150 effect owners have hit over 1 billion views and uses. Beginning next year, we'll open up Portal and Messenger to Spark AR creator publishing, giving more people fun new ways to connect," Facebook noted.