Facebook has reportedly been working on the development of augmented reality glasses for the past few years at their Reality Labs in Redmond, Washington. However, there have been struggles with the development of the project which has led to them seeking help.
Facebook is hoping a partnership with Luxottica; the parent company of Ray-ban will get them right on track and have the glasses available for consumers to purchase between 2023 and 2025. The glasses are codenamed Orion, and being designed as the future replacement to smartphones according to them. The glasses will have all the basic functionalities of a smartphone including calling, showing information on a small display and live-stream their vantage point to social media followers and friends. So, the idea is to basically replace portable devices with spectacles to function as the sole communications device which will be more accessible than hand-held devices.
Facebook is also developing an artificial intelligence voice assistant that would serve as the user input for the glasses according to CNBC. Furthermore, the company has also experimented with a ring like device that would allow users to input information with the aid od a motion sensor. This device is rumored to be called Agios. The company has hundreds of employees at their research at the Redmond research facility on the technology of these glasses. The problem with glasses has been to reduce the size of them in order to make them more appealing for customers. Perhaps, the new rumored partnership with Ray-Ban will change things for the better.
Given the amount of time that Facebook has been working on this project, there is no guarantee that the glasses will ever be completed on time or ever ship. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is said to have a strong interest in the glasses and has asked his hardware chief Andrew Bosworth to prioritize them. However, Facebook has been more than secretive regarding the progress of the said partnership and declined to comment on the matter. Luxottica did not return request for comment as well. Facebook is not alone in believing that smart glasses will be the next big thing in computing. Microsoft launched HoloLens 2 headset, and Snapchat parent company Snap launched its Spectacles glasses. Even startups like Magic leap based in Florida launched Leap One AR glasses even though none of the devices have become instant hits. Apple is also said to be working on a similar project and Luxottica has also experimented with this technology, in a partnership with Google to design, develop and distribute the Google Glass device.