While Apple remains tight-lipped about its plans, Facebook has already publicly stated that it is developing augmented reality glasses. But before it can achieve this technological feat, the company will first come up with a less advanced product that will be smart glasses, but not AR glasses.

This had been explained by the company, in an interview with The Verge, in 2020. Facebook had indicated that initially, the product that will be offered by the company could not be considered as augmented reality glasses, and will not have a screen. Instead, it will be “smart glasses” and is expected to launch this year.

And obviously, we won’t have to wait much longer to find out about this new product from Facebook. The project was mentioned by Mark Zuckerberg during the company’s quarterly earnings call. “Going forward, the next product release will be the launch of our first Ray-Ban smart glasses in partnership with EssilorLuxottica,” he said.

Unfortunately, Zuckerberg did not give a specific date. Instead, he revealed that the product will look like normal glasses, explaining that “glasses have their iconic form factor and they allow you to do some pretty cool things.”

An easier product to develop while waiting for the real AR glasses

Some media outlets believe that Facebook’s first Spectacles could be comparable to Snapchat’s previous Spectacles, which aren’t AR glasses, but do have smart features. In any case, these glasses are being developed by the company’s Facebook Reality Labs branch. And this one regularly posts articles and videos about the technologies in development. For example, in 2020, it gave a preview of a technology that would allow the user to have auditory superpowers.

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And at the same time, Facebook Reality Labs continues to develop its upcoming augmented reality product, called Project Aria. We know that a prototype has already been created and that it is already being tested by employees of the company. Besides, it is possible that Facebook’s smart glasses will allow the company to collect data that will help it develop its real augmented reality glasses.

In any case, AR/VR is a very important area for Facebook. Having missed the turn to smartphones, the company now has no control over the devices its apps are used on. And that can cause problems, like this year when Apple decided to make ad tracking more difficult on apps, or when Facebook wanted to launch a Facebook Gaming app with games, but it wasn’t possible because of App Store rules.

Mark Zuckerberg is <a href=”https://www.presse-citron.net/mark-zuckerberg-plus-annual-resolutions-but-a-vision-for-2030/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>personally convinced that augmented reality glasses will replace smartphones in a few years. And the number one social network wants to position itself on this market (on which it will probably be in direct competition with Apple).