Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that the next hardware product from the company will be smart glasses being developed in collaboration with Ray-Ban owner Essilor Luxottica. The glasses are said to have the iconic frames that Ray-Ban is famous for, integrated with AR features. Zuckerberg announced this during the company’s Q2 2021 earnings call. The Ray-Ban branded eyewear from Facebook is among the first steps in creating futuristic eyewear that augments the real-world with data or graphics from the Internet.
“Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with Essilor Luxottica,” said Zuckerberg. He went on to say that the glasses have their iconic form factor, and they “let you do some pretty neat things”. “I’m excited to get these into people’s hands and to continue to make progress on the journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future.”
Technical specifications of the smart glasses to be produced by the Franco-Italian firm were not disclosed. And Zuckerberg did not touch upon a specific timeline for launch either.
He also spoke about creating a virtual ‘metaverse’ wherein users will be able to ‘teleport’ into a digital space using AR and VR technologies. He also stressed on how commerce and ads will be important aspects of revenue going forward.
These smart glasses have been rumoured to be under development for quite a while now. A report last year suggested that engineers in the ‘Project Aria’ team were experimenting with the eyewear.
Alongside the smart glasses, Facebook is also reportedly working on a new smartwatch that will integrate features like two cameras and a heart rate monitor. One of the two cameras will be mounted at the front that is supposedly meant for video calling while the other one is meant for capturing footage after being detached from the stainless steel frame. The smartwatch is said to launch sometime in 2022.