Facebook is building augmented reality headsets with the intent of eventually bringing one to market, this much is clear from its many job postings, research projects, and forward-looking statements from company execs. Now, a CNBC report contends that Facebook has struck a deal with Luxottica, the Italian parent company to Ray-Ban and many others, to help design some form of immersive wearable.

Citing ‘people familiar with the matter’, CNBC’s report maintain the glasses are internally codenamed Orion, and are intended to replace smartphones by letting users “take calls, show information […] in a small display and live-stream their vantage point to their social media friends and followers.”

From this description, it’s unclear whether the device will function more like a proper AR headset (HoloLens, Magic Leap), which is designed to position digital imagery into physical 3D environments, or a pair of smartglasses (Google Glass, Vuzix Blade), which simply overlays useful information without integrating it into the environment as such. The report mixes both terminologies, so it’s unclear exactly which end of the spectrum the proposed device should fall on.

The report, which hasn’t received comment from either Facebook or Luxottica, maintains that the device should launch to consumers sometime between 2023 – 2025.

The partnership is the direct result of Facebook’s struggles to reduce the device’s size into an appealing form factor, the report claims.

iOS 13 Code Suggests Apple is Testing Its AR Headset Internally

Notably, Luxottica partnered with Google in 2014 to design and distribute additional frames for Google Glass in effort to make the smartglasses a high fashion item.

Luxottica produces both optical frames and sunglasses under license for a slew of brands, including Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, and Versace. In-house brands include Ray-Ban, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, and Persol.

The multi-billion dollar Italian company also operates Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, and Target Optical to name a few, making it the world’s largest company in the eyewear industry.

While Luxottica has been criticized for monopolistic practices, it’s clear the brand understands both luxury marketing and design, something Facebook’s first-generation AR (or smartglasses) will definitely need as it makes a critical bid to appeal to consumers.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • JesuSaveSouls

    It’s to bad we don’t have ar apps for mixed reality and the quest.Jesusavesouls !

    • asdfasdfasdf

      its too bad you dont understand how ar and pass through cameras work…

      • JesuSaveSouls

        I care about you believe it or not and its not bout kindness being repaid obviously.You need to really repent and recieve Jesus for your own peace and souls hope.

        • Smokey_the_Bear

          HAIL SATAN!

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    It makes sense. Ray Ban AR glasses for the masses enabled by FB/Oculus, Zucks wet dreams coming. FB doesn’t give a flying F… about high end VR experience, all it wants is further market penetration of their social media platform. What’s the better way than to stick FB onto the users glasses? RIP original Oculus, we loved you.

    • what a surprise a company focus on making money… so what if their focus isn’t highend vr hmd I love the fact they focus on bringing vr to everyone and not just those who can afford HIGHEND VR..

  • Virtual Funkality

    Luxxotica is an evil monopoly company. Horrible practices to stifle competition. They own all famous eyewear frames and lenscrafters, sunglass hut … and the vision insurance you probably have so they are triple dipping.

  • toblx

    Which kind of magic in the glasses darkens the light parts on the table where the dark wood of the virtual chess-board is placed?
    – I hate all those AR-fake-images.

  • bud01

    Try to keep the EMF away from the eye balls if possible, as it is there is a stunning global increase in myopia rate, millions of children and a whole generation non told that the call was never made that mobile phones are safe.(California had a little effort about it :https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/EHIB/CDPH%20Document%20Library/Cell-Phone-Guidance.pdf Microwave RX TX unit inches from their eyes for ever increasing hourly rate per day… even better lets have several mobiles in close proximity in closed metal tubes (trains) and really play with harmonics as if no effect concern or with not against common sense.

    Keep the EMF away from the eye balls, have a little bit more corp responsibility than apple for example.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      Yeah it’s true, but corporate responsibility won’t happen unless there’s a financial reason to do it. Corporations are headless and soulless beasts.

  • dota

    The answer is waveguide optics
    alternatively u can make small micro-projectors thar connect to all specs that also connect to cell phones

  • MeowMix

    There are TWO AR glasses projects by FB (refer to The Information article):

    1) “Stella” – their near term project
    2) “Orion” – their long term project

  • Trenix

    So with Facebook bleeding in popularity, they really are pushing new ways to get back into your life, literally.