Facebook announces partnership with Ray-Ban to launch AR smart glasses, to debut in 2021

Facebook will be starting to test the smart glasses in the real world with company employees and contractors to better areas like privacy, video recordings and design.

Facebook has revealed that they will be releasing its first pair of consumer 'smart glasses' as a branded Ray-Ban product. Facebook confirmed to The Verge that the device will not be classified as an AR device and will not have an integrated display of any kind. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had announced the smart glasses during the opening keynote at the all-virtual Facebook Connect conference.

Facebook has revealed that consumer smart glasses will be a single step in its overall AR work and now includes an experimental research prototype called Project Aria. Facebook will be starting to test Aria in the real world with company employees and contractors to better areas like privacy, video recordings and design.

The company is now working with Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica to design the frames of its first consumer smart glasses.

Project Aria

Project Aria

Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of the Reality Labs division stated that they are passionate about exploring devices that give people better ways to connect with those closest to that. According to him, with EssilorLuxottica, they have an equally ambitious partner who will lend their expertise and world-class brand catalogue to create fashionable smart glasses.

According to a report by Toms Guide, some key differences between Facebook and Apple with the latter reportedly rely heavily on augmented reality. Facebook on its part will have an integrated display. The report added that the current Aria prototype reveals a Wayfarer-like design with thick frames and what appears to be dual cameras posted beside both the lenses.

According to a report last year, Luxottica came on board after Facebook reportedly had difficulties in this project to help make it ready for consumer use.

The report suggested that these glasses are expected to replace smartphones and may be used for making calls as well as showing important info on the display and live streaming on social media platforms.

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