Facebook and the maker of Ray-Ban, Luxottica, have announced a partnership to launch its first pair of smart glasses next year. “After spending time with their team and visiting their factory, I knew that they were the right partner for us to help bring the best technology together with the best glasses,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook Connect livestream. The smart glasses were announced during the virtual and augmented reality online event. It will also serve as the first product of a multiyear platform and will feature the Ray-Ban branding.
Zuckerberg also announced Project Aria, a research device the company will use to learn as it develops the consumer eyewear. Project Aria glasses will be worn by Facebook employees and contractors publicly beginning in September, according to the head of Facebook hardware Andrew “Boz” Bosworth. These particular glasses will not be for sale and will feature no augmented reality features. However, it will capture, audio, video, eye-tracking, and location data that Facebook will utilize to help develop its upcoming AR smartglasses.
“It’s a research device that will help us understand how to build the software and hardware necessary for real, working AR glasses,” Bosworth said.
Employees will be trained on when and where to use the reserch glasses, according to Bosworth. Restrooms will be off limited and before collected data can be used, it willbe scrubed of senstive details like faces and license plates. Additionally, these workers will have clothes that make them easily identifiable as Facebook employees.
In other tech news, the Oculus Quest 2 boasts 50% more pixels than its predecessor.