Facebook has confirmed its intention to launch its long-awaited Ray-Ban smart glasses, although it revealed no details about their features.
After Facebook’s Q2 2021 Earnings Call with investors it emerged the Ray-Ban smart glasses teased by former VP of VR at Facebook Reality Labs, Hugo Barra, will finally become a reality.
Back in September last year, Barra teased the release of the smart glasses for 2021 and Mark Zuckerberg has now confirmed this, as seen in the recent Earnings Call transcript, without, however, giving away a specific release date – nor further information on the design or functionality of the device.
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 Zuckerberg, the platform is “continuing to invest heavily in building technology and products to deliver a full sense of presence.” He also added that “looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with Essilor Luxottica,” and that the glasses will have an iconic form factor.
Apart from that, they will, apparently, “let you do some pretty neat things.”
Around the same time as Barra’s Tweet in September, Facebook also announced that it was working on Project Aria – its research on the future of wearable tech.
“Imagine a pair of glasses that add a 3D layer of useful, contextually-relevant, and meaningful information on top of the physical world. Such a device could help us perform everyday tasks better — like finding your keys, navigating a new city, or capturing a moment; but it could also open up an entirely new way of moving through the world,” the company wrote at the time.
But Facebook’s next hardware product launch, the long-awaited Ray-Ban smart glasses, might not include AR technology after all. They might come in as smartphone accessories rather than standalone devices.
In an interview with CNET earlier this year, Facebook’s head of AR/VR hardware, Andrew Bosworth confirmed a few things: “We’re being careful not to call them augmented reality glasses. When you’re overlaying digital artifacts onto the world, that’s really augmented reality,” he said. “These aren’t augmented reality glasses. However, they do a lot of the concepts we think will eventually be critical for augmented reality glasses. It’s all components that people have seen before, but never all in one place.”