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Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect

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rjohnson11
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2021/07/29 10:08:09 (permalink)
Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect - CNET
 
At Facebook's recent earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed what we had already expected: The company's first pair of smart glasses are the next product, coming this year. Facebook discussed its glasses, which are made in a partnership with glasses-maker Essilor Luxottica under the Ray-Ban brand, last year during a virtual Facebook Connect conference.
 
"Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with Essilor Luxottica," Zuckerberg said during the call. "The glasses have their iconic form factor, and they let you do some pretty neat things. I'm excited to get these into people's hands and to continue to make progress on the journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future."Yes, they're smart glasses. But no, they're not AR glasses -- not as far as Facebook has said so far. Here's what to expect.
 

Not AR glasses

Facebook's head of AR/VR hardware, Andrew Bosworth, spoke with CNET earlier this year about the glasses. He confirmed a few things for us back then: "We're being careful not to call them augmented reality glasses. When you're overlaying digital artifacts onto the world, that's really augmented reality. These aren't augmented reality glasses. However, they do a lot of the concepts we think will eventually be critical for augmented reality glasses. It's all components that people have seen before, but never all in one place. I'm being very coy about the feature set, as you can tell -- that's intentional, I'm not going to answer specifically what features it has. But I will say, one of the things that we're looking at for all of AR, starting with our smart glasses, is how can they help you be more present."
 
He also added that "I think they're going to help people stay connected to each other, and never feel like they're out of touch with somebody else. And also just be useful." Bosworth didn't sound interested in the glasses serving up notifications, however, and didn't confirm whether or not they'd have displays. 
 

They'll be glasses, for sure

The Ray-Ban branding suggests that not only will these glasses look like normal glasses, they'll likely have nearly normal lenses. We don't know specifics, of course, but one of the big problems with AR glasses has been support for a range of prescription lenses, due to their often-weird lens and frame designs. 

Don't expect screens. Instead, they'll likely lean on audio

Much like Amazon's Echo Frames, Bose Frames or Razer's Anzu glasses, these will probably focus on audio as the immersive tech of the moment. Facebook recently created its own live audio rooms and spaces on Facebook, matching similar efforts from Twitter and apps like Clubhouse. Facebook Reality Labs, which is pursuing a more advanced true augmented reality headset, sees spatial audio as a key piece of the puzzle in smart glasses. Audio is also a more achievable step in the short term. Facebook could experiment with assistant features and use the glasses to connect to audio spaces.
 

Will they have cameras?

Facebook is still working out its privacy policy on wearable cameras. While camera data isn't shared on Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets, we don't know whether Facebook would go down a Snap Spectacle-like road with camera-glasses. We don't know yet.

Facebook's future wearable plans include a motion-sensing watch and sensor-rich AR glasses

Ambitions run high for where Facebook plans to go next with smart wearables. The company's testing sensor arrays for future AR glasses, and is looking into wrist-worn neural input technology as a key interface for VR and AR devices down the road. There are also reported plans for a smartwatch next year. Zuckerberg and Facebook have indicated that the eventual goal is to have VR devices evolve into AR glasses, or have the two technologies increasingly dovetail. 
 
But also, these Ray-Ban glasses could simply be about Facebook diversifying its approach to wearable and ambient computing. 
The road to AR glasses could take most of this decade, while companies like Apple, Microsoft, Snapchat and others pursue similar goals. The Ray-Ban glasses coming this year will be the first step, but they likely won't do quite as much as you think.
 
This is going to be a very strange release in my opinion. 

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#1

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    Flint 1760
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    Re: Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect 2021/07/29 10:55:53 (permalink)
    Several articles did not have any clear definition as to what these glasses will provide other than audio and possible telephone interface.  If Facebook has anything to do with it, I'll pass.


    #2
    HurricaneJB
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    Re: Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect 2021/07/29 11:27:35 (permalink)
    Oh wow. I used to work for Essilor in Farmer's Branch, TX. Interesting partnership. Too bad I no longer receive their employee discounts!
    #3
    transdogmifier
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    Re: Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect 2021/07/29 11:31:07 (permalink)
    Not buying anything with "Facebook" attached to it.
     
    Go mine the morons, Zucker.
     

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    ZzEzZ
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    Re: Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect 2021/07/29 19:54:13 (permalink)
    Not sure how to feel about these. Especially coming from FB.
    #5
    XrayMan
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    Re: Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect 2021/07/29 22:54:26 (permalink)
     
    Another idea that flopped was Google Glass. I'll pass on this too.

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    notfordman
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    Re: Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect 2021/07/30 09:13:04 (permalink)
    Flint 1760
    Several articles did not have any clear definition as to what these glasses will provide other than audio and possible telephone interface.  If Facebook has anything to do with it, I'll pass.



    ^^Ding! 
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    Nozler
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    Re: Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses are coming: What to expect 2021/07/30 20:23:47 (permalink)
    Bond James Bond secret service and others have this kind of stuff forever I suppose

    heatware
     
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