Facebook pushes smart glasses project with Rayban parent firm despite failed Google Glass

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The Facebook logo is pictured at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California 29 January 2013 Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Unfazed by the stone-cold reception for Google Glass project that was forced to be shelved in 2015, social media giant Facebook has tied up with Raybon parent firm to develop a pair of smart glasses to be released by 2025. Even Google worked with the same firm to manufacture its Google Glass.

Facebook Reality Labs has teamed up with Rayban and Oakley's parent company, Luxottica, to bring its augmented reality (AR) glasses into reality, CNBC reported on Tuesday, September 17. Luxottica is the same company that Google worked with for its Google Glass project.

Code-named 'Orion,' Facebook's smart glasses is engineered to replace smartphones in the long run, which according to people familiar with the matter, are capable of receiving calls, projecting information to a user in a tiny display, and live streaming a user's point of view via social media. Having said that, the Orion smart glasses is likely going to be a standalone device that runs without the help of any peripherals.

The Orion smart glasses is slated for release sometime between 2023 and 2025.

Facebook has been hard at work with the smart glasses for quite some time. In 2017, Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer teased Orion at the Facebook F8 conference in San Jose, California as "an extension" of their venture on virtual reality (VR). Meanwhile, at the same event, Michael Abrash, chief scientist of Facebook-owned VR firm Oculus, pointed to the release of a "full AR" at least five years away.

Even Facebook's chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg was enthusiastic about the project, telling TechCrunch in 2017: "We all know where we want this [smart glasses] to get eventually, we want glasses."

Neither Facebook nor Luxottica gave details on the specifications or showed any design schematic for the Orion smart glass.

It remains a mystery at this point whether Facebook will be launching an affordable pair of smart glasses to compete with $400-ish Snapchat Spectacles or a pair that's as expensive as the $1,500 Google Glass.

Google Glass
Google Glass Google

A report from The Information on Tuesday said two pairs of smart glasses are in the pipeline. One code-named 'Stella' that's going to compete with Snapchat Spectacles and a high-end pair, which likely is 'Orion.'

Facebook has neither denied nor confirmed the report but it remains to be seen whether consumers will be ready to embrace this new technology by then? Else, it will suffer the same fate as Google Glass.

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