The Menlo Park-based Tech Giant Revealed It Would Prioritise the Release of the Rumoured AR Wearables
Facebook will release a long-awaited pair of augmented reality (AR) Ray-Ban smartglasses later in 2021, it was confirmed in an quarterly earnings call on Wednesday.
During the call, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Chief Executive and Founder, said:
“Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with Essilor Luxottica. 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”
Sources leaked the smart glasses in a CNBC report in 2019, stating Facebook had been working with Ray-Ban’s parent company, EssilorLuxottica, on a project named “Orion”.
The sources said the sunglasses could replace smartphones, allowing users to take and receive phone calls, view personal information, and broadcast livestreams, among other features.
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
Former Vice-President of VR at Facebook Reality Labs Hugo Barra later confirmed Facebook would launch the stylish sunglasses in 2021.
The news comes just days after Zuckerberg made bold statements his firm would shift to becoming a “metaverse company” and aimed to “help bring the metaverse to live” via its initiatives.
Speaking further on the matter, Zuckerberg explained in the call future metaverse products should remain accessible to audiences to boost its reach and capabilities, adding Facebook’s business model would aim to serve “as many people as possible”.
“So we want to make everything that we do as affordable as possible, so as many people as possible can get into it and then compounds the size of the digital economy inside it. So that’s kind of at a high level how I’m thinking about this”
The news comes after reports alleged the company was developing an AR-capable smartwatch with a detachable face, but the new reports confirm Facebook would give priority to the new smartglasses.
Anonymous sources said in the report the smartwatch would work with the social media giant’s apps such as Instagram, along with a custom Android-based operating system and detachable camera.