Facebook has been hard at work on the development and release of new hardware accessories, and a new partnership has been announced. The company will work with Luxottica, the parent company of Ray-Ban, to release smart glasses in 2021.
The announcement was made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the Facebook Connect event, which was held to highlight the release of virtual reality and augmented reality products offered by Facebook, as several products were presented and revealed, including the Oculus Quest 2.
According to the current vision related to the project, Facebook and Luxottica are working on a multiyear partnership, with early hints about collaboration being observed earlier in 2019. While Zuckerberg mentioned that the glasses are in development, he did not offer any major details about them, with the exception of the fact that they will look cool.
The glasses will be complemented by Project Aria, a new research device that will offer valuable information during the development stages and allow Facebook to take critical decisions before finished versions are released on the market.
Facebook employees and partners will be invited to wear Project Aria glasses around the Facebook campus and in public from September. These prototype glasses do not feature any augmented reality features but come with a series of sensors that are able to record audio, video, and location data as well as eye-tracking.
By collecting data from these sensors, Facebook and Luxoticca can refine and improve a lot of hardware and software elements. It was also mentioned that recordings would be paused when persons who wear the Project Aria glasses enter sensitive places, including restrooms. Privacy was also highlighted as the collected information will be anonymized, with faces and vehicle license plates being blurred.
If everything goes according to plan, Facebook might make smart glasses a mainstream accessory in a few years.