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Facebooks' "Smart Glasses" sure to hit the markets this year

Even as Apple is said to be pressing ahead with its AR glasses project , social media platform Facebook is also keen to release its version...

Even as Apple is said to be pressing ahead with its AR glasses project, social media platform Facebook is also keen to release its version of smart glasses "sooner rather than later".

Facebook Hardware Chief Andrew Bosworth, while confirming that Facebook's smart glasses will arrive this year, also said: "won’t feature the kind of digital overlay technology that is associated with augmented reality".  

"We’re excited about it but we don’t want to over-hype it. We’re not even calling it augmented reality, we’re just calling it smart glasses," he told the Bloomberg news agency.

Of course, he is echoing what Facebook Mark Zuckerberg had said last September while unveiling Project Aria: "The goal here is to develop some normal-size, nice-looking glasses that you can wear all day, and interact with holograms, digital objects and information while still being present with the people and the world around you.”

The glasses, with connected functionality, will be built in partnership with French eyewear brand Luxottica, Ray-Ban’s parent company.

The first glimpses of the future will arrive sooner than later as we launch our first pair of smart glasses from Ray-Ban, Facebook said.

But FB bets big on AR

Smart Glasses

(Image credit: Facebook)

In terms of looks, Facebook's smart glasses is expected to look like fashionable sunglasses, But it will also double as a digital camera, making it easier for users to capture as 'they see it'.

Facebook is already building an ecosystem around AR technologies. It has a Spark AR creator platform on Instagram that has seen over 400K creators publish AR effects. 

"We’ve been inspired by their creativity and will continue to expand Spark AR for expression and connection in social settings like real-time video calling, or making more informed purchases," Andrew Bosworth said in a separate blogpost.

"We’re pushing hard on the underpinnings like location and augmenting in the world to help define the path to true AR glasses, while setting clear privacy expectations. It’s early days, but we’re intent on giving creators more to do in AR and with greater capabilities."

With talk of holograms, instant navigation and translation features – right in front of your eyes – Facebook is certainly thinking big with its ambitions, beyond putting a wagging dog tongue on an Instagram video.

On VR, Facebook's Oculus VR division had a "tremendous year", with the lockdowns pushing more people to seek out alternative forms of home entertainment.

Oculus Quest 2, Facebook's VR headset, has seen more people using it to stay fit, play games with friends, and collaborate for work.



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