WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Facebook has teamed up with Luxottica to create augmented-reality Ray-Ban glasses, codenamed Orion, according to sources familiar with the facts.
- The social media giant is hopeful that a partnership with Luxottica will speed up the glasses production so they can reach consumers by 2023, 2024 or 2025 at the latest.
- The glasses are designed to replace smartphones, allowing users to take calls, show information in a small display and live-stream their vantage point to social media.
For the past couple of years, Facebook has been attempting to develop augmented reality glasses out of its Facebook Reality Labs in Redmond, Washington. Not being successful with the development of the project, the tech giant is now hoping to team up with Ray-Ban parent company Luxottica to help them complete the glasses and make them ready for consumers between 2023 and 2025, according to sources.
Codenamed Orion, sources said, the glasses are developed to replace smartphones. The glasses would let users to take calls, show information to users in a small display and live-stream their vantage point to their social media friends and followers.
An artificial intelligence voice assistant is also being developed by Facebook. It would serve as a user input for the glasses, according to CNBC. Moreover, Facebook has experimented with a ring device that would let users input information via motion sensor — a device code-named Agios.
Despite having hundreds of employees at its Redmond offices working on technology for the AR glasses, but thus far, Facebook has struggled to reduce the size of the device into a form factor that consumers will find appealing, a person who worked on the device told CNBC.
There is no guarantee that the glasses will be completed on time or ever ship. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has a strong interest in the glasses, andeven asked hardware chief Andrew Bosworth to prioritize them.
Facebook is not alone in believing that smart glasses that superimpose computer-generated images over the real world will be the next big thing in computing, according to CNBC.
Microsoft makes the HoloLens 2 headset, Snapchat parent company Snap sells its Spectacles glasses and Florida startup Magic Leap sells its Magic Leap One AR glasses, although none of these technologies has become popular. Apple is also working on a similar product that could be ready in the market as early as 2020.