Facebook and Ray-Ban to launch smart glasses


Facebook relies heavily on augmented reality. © Facebook

Smart glasses, the return

In 2013, everyone was talking about that: Google Glass was a real revolution that would change the way we interact with the world around us. A few miscellaneous facts later, the phenomenon will very quickly come to a standstill and will not exceed the hype of early adopters. Since then, smart glasses projects have never really broken through, even if a few attempts like the Snap Spectacles have had their quarter of an hour of glory. Facebook has just announced that it is also embarking on this niche during its Facebook Connect event, and is not going alone in the adventure. Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has teamed up with EssilorLuxottica to offer a connected Ray-Ban model. A prestigious alliance on paper, which should lead to a release next year.

No augmented reality for the moment

While the functionality of these smart glasses is not yet clear, Facebook has already confirmed that there will be no augmented reality when released. Likewise, there will be no display on the glasses. Nothing very disruptive therefore, but a first step in a market that does not really exist for the moment. And unlike the Google Glass of the time, Facebook intends to position itself on elegant glasses that will integrate well into everyday life. This project fits more generally into a strong approach in terms of augmented reality on the part of Facebook, and should only be a first step in testing consumer feedback.

Project Aria, the future of augmented reality at Facebook

At the same time, Facebook is deploying Project Aria through a hundred testers in San Francisco and Seattle, with the objective of capturing their audio and video environment, doing eye-tracking and geolocation. All this with the aim of working on what augmented reality could give on this kind of devices. A pure research project, therefore, which indicates Facebook’s strong desire to become a major player in this sector in the coming years.

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