Facebook is working closely with premium eyewear company Luxottica, the makers behind Ray-Ban, on new augmented reality glasses. According to CNBC, the companies are looking to launch a pair of AR glasses sometime between 2023 and 2025. Facebook, one of the world’s most valuable companies, confirmed last year that it was exploring the idea of augmented reality glasses.
CNBC’s Salvador Rodriguez claims the glasses are codenamed “Orion”, and they are designed to replace the smartphone. The glasses will allow users to take calls and show the information on a small screen, plus they are also said to have a camera built-in for live streaming.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is personally taking interest in the glasses, a source close to the project told CNBC. Zuckerberg reportedly told Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, who is taking care of consumer hardware at the company, to prioritize the development of smart glasses.
Hundreds of employees are reportedly working out on augmented reality glasses at Facebook Reality Labs in Redmond, Washington. The current issue, according to the report, which is bothering Facebook a lot is to “reduce the size of the device into a form factor that consumers will find appealing.”
Separately, The Information claims that Facebook is developing a set of augmented reality glasses, codenamed “Stella.” The Stella smart glasses are being developed with Ray-Ban’s parent company, and not the Orion glasses.
According to the report, the Stella glasses will work exactly like Snapchat’s Spectacles glasses and will include a camera. Facebook hopes to bring the Stella smart glasses to the market in the next couple of years. It’s also been said that Facebook is developing its own voice assistant to power the glasses.
Not just Facebook, but major tech companies including Apple are reportedly working on augmented reality glasses. In fact, Apple is rumoured to launch a set of AR glasses as early as 2020. The glasses won’t work independently, instead require the iPhone to handle all the processing. AR glasses would combine the digital and physical worlds by overlaying digital images in your physical view.