Facebook is planning to launch new hardware, starting with the Ray-Ban smart glasses, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg confirmed during an earnings call this week that it will launch the glasses next, though exactly when remains unclear. The last reported time frame was sometime in 2021. “Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with EssilorLuxottica,” the Facebook CEO said. “The glasses have their iconic form factor, and they let you do some pretty neat things.”
We don’t know exactly what features the glasses will have just yet, though it’s assumed they’ll have basic smart functions. First announced last September, Facebook partnered with EssilorLuxottica to develop the glasses as part of a “multi-year” collaboration. Luxottica is responsible for many of the premium sunglasses and spectacles brands, including Persol and Prada, but the first product in this series will come under the Ray-Ban badge.
Perhaps Facebook and Ray-Ban’s smart glasses will be like the Amazon Echo Frames and Snap Spectacles. We suspect all the details surrounding them, including an official product name, specifications, software, pricing, and design will be revealed closer to launch – whenever that happens.
That said, Zuckerberg has pitched them as part of Facebook’s “journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future”, and AR glasses are also key to Facebook’s upcoming “Metaverse”, which aims to blend virtual and physical spaces. You can read more about the Metaverse in our guide.