Remember Google Glass? If you don’t, we don’t blame you. The highly touted product made waves about privacy concerns given that they were basically face mounted computers with cameras on them. Believe it or not, Google Glass still exists as the pioneer of sorts for the smart glasses industry. Apparently there’s still enough of a market there for a competitor to jump in, which is where Facebook and Ray-Ban are coming together to enter the fray.
Last year, The Verge reported that the two companies were planning on releasing a product, one that would not have an integrated display like Google Glass. Speculation would be that it would have to cooperate with a smartphone app or something to achieve all of the intended functionality. Some things may be available through voice commands, similar to Amazon’s Echo Frames, but details were scarce at the time.
Due to Coronavirus, the intended release window of 2021 was missed, but further reports from the end of July indicate that Facebook is gearing up for their glasses to be their next hardware launch. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not been clear on the release date, but has been clear that this is supposed to be just one step towards a full augmented reality “metaverse.” What does he mean by “metaverse?” Who knows.
It will be interesting to see however if this eventually draws the same kind of backlash that Google Glass did. Facebook has long had its own tumultuous history with privacy concerns; combine that with some of the same criticism that Google received and it seems like a recipe for disaster. It doesn’t help matters that a lot of Facebook users just kind of begrudgingly use the platform because its there, not because they actively love it. It’s hard to imagine Facebook having the kind of brand loyalty that makes you want to go out and have their new smart glasses!
Either way, Facebook seems dedicated to the idea as part of their Project ARIA plans, which again goes into that whole metaverse thing. If we figure out what the hell Zuckerberg is talking about, we’ll let you know.
But…what are the chances that maybe Zuckerberg is gonna hack us all with this special Ray-Bans offer?