The maker of expensive Ray-Ban frames, EssilorLuxottica, and Facebook, the maker of cheap ads, are teaming up to create some fashionable smart glasses. Today, the companies said those glasses are coming next year. CNBC‘s Salvador Rodriguez reported the collaboration last year, but the companies didn’t confirm it.
The smart glasses will put Facebook apps and other content inside a pair of Luxottica’s Ray-Ban glasses, the companies say, and help people stay better connected to their friends and family.
The companies revealed little about the eventual smart glasses. The actual product name, technical specs, software capabilities, pricing, and other details will be shared closer to launch in 2021. They did, however, produce a cool video:
It’s important to note that smart glasses are not augmented reality glasses. The Luxottica-Facebook glasses will likely feel like the display of a smartphone extended to a small display worn over the eyes. They will not project 3D imagery over your view of the real world, but rather do things like offer a heads-up way to watch video, play games, or socialize on Facebook.
As a reference, the glasses may be something like North’s Focals glasses. Google acquired North this year, and quickly canceled the release of the Focals product.
The companies made the announcement at Facebook’s yearly Connect conference about emerging technology used for social interaction, where Facebook also announced that about 100 of its employees will start publicly wearing a research prototype designed to help the company develop true AR glasses.