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Facebook Wants to Turn Your Ray-Ban Smart, Launch Branded AR Glasses in 2021

Ray Ban Facebook partnership annoucement (Image credit: Facebook/screengrab)

Ray Ban Facebook partnership annoucement (Image credit: Facebook/screengrab)

The Ray-Ban smart AR glasses will aim to offer a far improved augmented reality experience to users.

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Darab Ali

During this year's Facebook Connect, the social media giant's annual AR/VR conference, Facebook announced that it will release a pair of Ray-Ban branded smart glasses in 2021. The Ray-Ban smart glasses will be the first product out of a multi-year partnership with EssilorLuxottica - the parent company of eyewear brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley. Facebook has not mentioned any features of the Ray-Ban branded smart glasses, nor what they will be called, but confirmed in a report that the glasses will not be classified as an AR device. This indicates towards a device similar to Snap's Spectacles. Facebook, however, says that the smart glasses will be a step among its overall work in AR.

“We’re passionate about exploring devices that can give people better ways to connect with those closest to them. Wearables have the potential to do that. With EssilorLuxottica we have an equally ambitious partner who’ll lend their expertise and world-class brand catalogue to the first truly fashionable smart glasses,” Vice President of Facebook's Reality Labs Andrew Bosworth said in the release.

“We are especially proud of our collaboration with Facebook, which projects an iconic brand like Ray-Ban into an increasingly digital and social future," he said.

Hugo Barra, VP for Facebook Reality Labs, Partnerships, said on his Twitter that he spent hours talking to Rocco Basilico, GM of Ray-Ban, about how fashion and technology join hands over the next decade to define the evolution of mobile computing. He said that a small group from Facebook Reality Labs got spent a few days at Luxottica's factory and R&D center in Northern Italy, to learn about their product development process. " It was the beginning of an incredible journey that would become my main focus at Facebook," he said.

Facebook's official announcement comes almost a year after initial reports of the company partnering with Ray-Ban to make smart glasses.

Apart from announcing its partnership with EssilorLuxottica, Facebook also launched a new set of Oculus VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, and stressed on Facebook Reality Labs’ plans to build the next computing platform, along with talking about its Spark AR programme.


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