As for those of you eagerly awaiting Facebook’s smart glasses, we have some good news: They’re slated to be the company’s next consumer merchandise.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg affirmed the news on Wednesday during Facebook’s second-quarter earnings call while providing remarkable insight on the brand’s upcoming product cycle.
“Our next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in collaboration with EssilorLuxottica,” he said.
Zuckerberg did not indicate a specific date for the device’s release, but he stated that it will look just like regular glasses. The Facebook CEO went on to say that “the Ray-Ban Glasses have their iconic form factor, and they let you do some pretty neat things.”
As far as features and specs are concerned, we aren’t exactly sure what those “pretty neat things” will be. But that’s not preventing Facebook from hyping the merchandise as an instant “classic.”
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
Last year, the social media leader told The Verge “that the device will not be classified as an Augmented Reality (AR) Product, and it will not have an integrated display of any kind.” That report notes that the glasses may look similar to Snapchat’s Spectacles or Amazon’s Echo Frames — both of which blend reasonably well with everyday attire.
That earlier announcement echoes Zuckerberg’s last words on the subject during Wednesday’s call. Before moving on to other topics, the CEO said he was “excited to get [the smart glasses] into people’s hands and to continue to make progress on the journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future.”
While these “smart glasses” aren’t considered total AR, the project is still part of Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) — the company’s R&D outfit for XR technologies. So, any data and feedback gathered by these smart glasses could help contribute to Project Aria, the lightweight AR glasses Facebook is currently testing.
It remains to be seen when exactly in 2021 Facebook plans on launching these Ray-Ban glasses. But considering we’re more than halfway through the year already, it’s likely the company will release them very soon — possibly in time for the holiday season.