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Facebook partnering with Ray-Ban owner Luxottica to create AR glasses — report

/ 08:19 PM September 22, 2019

Facebook has partnered with Luxottica, the owner of eyewear brands including Ray-Ban, Oakley and Coach, to launch a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses “designed to replace smartphones” as early as 2023, CNBC reports.

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Image: AFP/Leon Neal via AFP Relaxnews

Despite Snapchat’s Spectacles smart glasses not being notably popular among consumers, the brand’s parent company, Facebook, is still working hard to make such a device successful.

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While Facebook confirmed last year that it was developing its own in-house AR glasses, CNBC reported this week that it spoke with sources familiar with the technology company’s plans in order to offer the most comprehensive update on the project to date.

Facebook hopes to launch the AR glasses, internally codenamed Orion, as early as 2023 or as late as 2025.

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Unlike Snapchat’s Spectacles, which rely on a smartphone to be able to fully function, Facebook’s iteration would be able to operate independently, allowing the wearer to take calls, reference information displayed on the lenses and livestream content from their point of view.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Facebook is also working on a voice assistant to compete with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri; this technology would help owners to control their glasses via vocal commands. Otherwise, the company also has a ring device, codenamed Agios, in development with which users could input information and requests.

As of now, Facebook is purportedly “struggling to reduce the size of the device into a form factor that consumers will find appealing.”

Though neither Snapchat’s Spectacles nor Google’s Glass have resonated with the public, Facebook is not the only company working to develop the technology. Apple is reportedly working on its own version of AR-powered glasses, which is expected to launch next year. RGA/JB

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TOPICS: augmented reality, Facebook, Google Glass, smart glasses, Snapchat
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