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Facebook is launching smart glasses this year, without AR

Social media company Facebook will launch ‘smart glasses’ in 2021, although it is unlikely that augmented reality (AR) will be used. Bloomberg reports that.

The glasses, which are being developed together with Ray-Ban of the French-Italian EssilorLuxottica, will be able to connect wirelessly to a smartphone but will not use augmented reality (AR), a technology that places an interactive digital layer on physical reality.

“This is certainly one connected glasses. They certainly offer a lot of functionality, but we are very cautious about exactly what features we offer, ”said Andrew Bosworth, head of the Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) division. “We are enthusiastic about it, but we don’t want to over-hyp it. We don’t even call it augmented reality, we just call it “smart glasses”. “

“AR not yet ready”

Facebook first announced AR glasses in 2017, but according to the social media company, current AR technology is not yet ready. “Many of the technologies needed to deliver on the promise of AR glasses don’t yet exist – and our team is hard at work to make them happen,” Bosworth admitted in a blog post in August.

Last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the smart glasses on Facebook Connect, a conference of Facebook Reality Labs. He then emphasized that the glasses must be a step towards “real AR glasses”.

Investments in hardware

In recent years, Facebook has invested significantly in the development of hardware such as the VR headset Quest 2, which immerses the user in a virtual world. In September, the company also announced a fitness tracker in the form of the VR app Oculus Move. Facebook’s VR, AR and hardware teams are said to have more than 6,000 employees, according to Bloomberg.

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