Facebook and Ray-Ban are collaborating on what promises to be a pair of smartglasses, something that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July would “let you do some pretty neat things.” Well, the companies are getting ready to reveal the device on September 9th, 2021, so we’re sure to learn more then.

Ray-Ban, a brand of the mega Italian-French optics firm EssilorLuxottica, released a splash page showing off the silhouette of a very Wayfarer-looking pair of specs. Although we’ve heard about the deal for two years now, little is known about the upcoming ‘smart glasses’—their words, not ours—they at very least have the ability record high-quality video.

Facebook Reality Labs VP Andrew Bosworth tweeted a video earlier this week showing off some of his family vacation, which notably features a cameo by none other than Mark Zuckerberg. It’s thought these were recorded with the Ray-Ban/Facebook specs.

Bosworth also tweeted another video emphasizing the device’s ability to capture video whilst leaving the user free to golf two-handed. In both videos we can see Zuckerberg and April Bosworth donning what appear to be Ray-Bans, although it’s unclear if either these are the ‘smart’ variety or otherwise.

Smartglasses are a wearable device separate from augmented reality, and are generally defined by their ability to present useful information to the user, often in the form of a small floating screen or heads-up display (HUD). Like a smartwatch, information ranges from things like text messages, biometrics, incoming phone calls, turn-by-turn directions, etc. Think Google Glass or Vuzix Blade—not Microsoft HoloLens or Magic Leap 1.

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In Facebook’s Q2 2021 earnings call in late July, Zuckerberg said he was excited release the glasses whilst continuing to “make progress on the journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future.” We’re hoping to learn what precisely separates the Ray-Ban specs from camera glasses like Snap’s Spectacles (gen 1-3), which only record brief snippets of video.

If you’re interested in learning what separates smartglasses and augmented reality, read more here. We’ll be following this story as it breaks tomorrow, so check back for more then.

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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.
  • kontis

    If in 2014 someone from the future had told Mark Zuckerberg that all they would have in 2022 would be just EMPTY frame without displays and with some cellphone cameras attached to it, despite billions in investment, he would surely cancel the plan to acquire Oculus.

    • xyzs

      What are you talking about?
      Visit Karl Guttag website and you will see plenty of promising smart glasses display techs like the Lumus that are incredible.

      • silvaring

        For example the LetinAR pinhole lenses.

    • Pulsar101

      Are you high??? Occulus is a massive success for them the quest is dominating the entire market.

      • wheeler

        Depends on how you define “success”.

        Getting several million people to buy subsidized hardware is one thing. A profitable software platform is something else entirely. They are losing ~$6b / year to keep this ball rolling.

        • MeowMix

          They are losing ~$6b / year to keep this ball rolling.

          And be honest with that figure.
          That encompasses ALL of Facebook Reality Labs (VR, AR, Oculus, Portal, Spark AR, Research, prototype units, acquisition of companies (CTRL Labs, Eye Tribe, game studios – Sanzaru, RaD)).

          So the $6 billion/yr and 10,000+ employees working on XR goes waaaay beyond just Oculus.

        • dk

          they r not loosing anything on subsidized hardware as soon as the people buy 10 games for 20 bucks each ….and 10 games is the minimum people would buy in 6 months or something ….it’s the console model

    • MeowMix

      Kontis, you and I both know FB is working on several “Smart Glasses”, and the entry ‘Snap Chat’ camera based glasses have been planned for a couple years now. I also know that you’re aware they’re working on the more advanced AR SmartGlasses which will have a release date around 2025.

      I think if someone went back in time to Zuckerberg and told him FB would be the pioneer and dominate force in the still emerging and exponentially growing market of XR; he’ll still go full bore with his acquisition of Oculus.

    • dk

      nreal is already a great first generation headset just like og vive and rift were good enough in 2016 for vr
      there r tons of research and companies on the verge of production of the next gen ar displays https://kguttag.com/2021/05/24/exclusive-lumus-maximus-2k-x-2k-per-eye-3000-nits-50-fov-with-though-the-optics-pictures/
      something like the lumus display plus project aria and wired to an external battery or wired to a phone will be a great ar headset and could be out as soon as 2023-24

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  • JustNiz

    You can only pick one:

    1) They look like regular raybans (i.e. not chunky/ugly/nerdy as f**k)

    2) They have color displays with a useful resolution that can fill your field of view.

    • Blaexe

      No need to pick, we’ve known for almost a year that these glasses won’t have a display.

      • JustNiz

        OMG it’s just a camera? That’s truly pathetic.

    • MeowMix

      without ever showing any functionality that someone would actually want to buy this for.

      Tourists at every venue are busy fiddling with their phones to capture that picturesque moment; ironically by using their phone they often miss the point of enjoying their vacation.

      Sunglasses that take pics/video from your perspective, hands free, in a frictionless, thoughtless manner, is something that can appeal to A LOT of people – tourists, young adults, training employees (Google Glasses were used by Med Students), and more.

      Those of us who frequent this site are usually open minded futurists who readily think about the future uses XR allows for us; how about use that noggin to think outside the box of what these glasses will lead to.

      • JustNiz

        “Those of us who frequent this site”….
        ahh the old and exceptionally arrogant “I speak for everyone else here” trick. Except you actually don’t.

        This is no more than google glass without the actually useful bit (a display) and 8 years too late…. and Google glass already failed.

        • MeowMix

          …rape …

          and just like that, you’ve outed yourself as a disgruntled, out of touch eccentric. Your opinion on the matter can be thrown in the trash bin and ignored.

          • silvaring

            So all the ecologists that used the term ‘raping the natural habitat or environment’ must also be talking out of turn too? In your mind rape can only mean something sexual… or does it only apply to examples which you are comfortable with, in other words scenario’s that don’t offend your sacred cow corporation?

  • Holdup

    Sunglasses with cameras, I don’t know didn’t Snapchat did this and fail.

    • MeowMix

      Snapchat did it; but they were prototype glasses available to a small, select group; far from a failure.

      • Holdup

        Oh I haven’t seen any in public since the release so I figured it was failure.

    • XRC

      Bose tried audio AR glasses, they were soon dropped. Biggest problem I found when I tested a pair? Background noise…

      • Holdup

        I did remember trying some type of speaker smart glasses at like best buy, I don’t remember it being augmented reality tho, if it was trust me I would have picked it up at the price tag it was selling for.

        • XRC

          The pair I tried (at Raindance 2019) were Bose frames “58-801A” got 2 pictures of them here on my phone.

          ‘The company launched its Frames sunglasses in January 2019 for $199, which played audio from the arms. It also featured a microphone and embedded button, as well as app functionality. The AR feature relied on a smartphone’s GPS and a motion sensor to determine where a person was looking and standing.”


          I signed up for a development kit but didn’t hear back and they soon shelved them.

  • sfmike

    Rich guy playing golf……Ugh.

    • ViRGiN

      What do you think he should have done?
      Go with SpaceX to really stand out as rich?
      I’ve played golf two weeks ago, and I’m not even worth 0.01% of facebook execs.
      Keep on hating. You probably are mad-excited about steam deck.

  • Hivemind9000

    So… “Google Glass The Sequel” – coming to you (again) in 2022!

    • MeowMix

      Pretty much; but this time available to consumers.

  • VRFriend

    Google Glas was first and it was quickly banned almost everywhere. No man with glasses allowed in, recording everything he can see on cam.

  • dk
  • oomph2

    Great , This is what I was waiting for.
    A lightweight non intrusive , ordinary looking pair of glasses which can be used as a screen/monitor for cell phone etc.
    Wish someone would make actuated mirror based micro projector to project on these glasses. And the micro projector would be placed on spec’s temples

    • Blaexe

      A lightweight non intrusive , ordinary looking pair of glasses which can be used as a screen/monitor for cell phone etc.

      So…not what you were waiting for at all?

  • oomph2

    Big tech (especially free) is funded by defence aka big brother.
    They already know everything about you at every moment.
    And the solution is not to run away rather let them use it to drown them into their data like East germany

    • silvaring

      They don’t know everything, you are wrong. They are not gods, and they never will be even with the whole worlds eyeballs in their view.

  • Jetson

    So now when we want to protect our eyes from the sun… we need to sign up to Facebook ?!? Doh!!!