Digital ads dominate Facebook’s booming business, but it also has hardware ambitions beyond VR. During the company’s latest, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said its next product release would be a pair of smart glasses from Ray-Ban.
“The glasses have their iconic form factor, and theyyou do some pretty neat things,” the Facebook co-founder said. “So I’m excited to get those into people’s hands and continue to progress on the journey toward full glasses in the future.”
Facebook’s sunglasses have been the subject of rumors since 2019. Back then, sources toldthat Facebook was working with Ray-Ban owner EssilorLuxottica on AR eyewear nicknamed “Orion.” The glasses were billed as a full-fledged phone replacement on which you could take calls, see information, and even broadcast live streams.
, Hugo Barra, then VP of VR at Facebook Reality Labs, confirmed that the glasses would land in 2021. That inevitably drew comparisons to Google Glass (another Luxottica collab) instead of the phone-tethered Spectacles from Snap. But we haven’t heard much since.
For Facebook, the glassesto its future. Alongside , augmented reality (AR) is integral to building the “metaverse,” Zuckerberg said. In the end, Facebook will morph into a shared, liveable you “teleport” between different social experiences using VR and AR, Zuckerberg explained.
The term metaverse is the latest buzzword seized upon by gained traction after the breakout success of multiplayer game creation platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. Earlier this , Microsoft chief Satya Nadella mentioned an “enterprise metaverse” on his company’s earnings call.and futurists. While the concept has been around for over a decade, it
For Facebook, the metaverse is more than just a fad. According to Zuckerberg, the company is spending billions to build its shared universe, which will be populated with company needs more people to buy its computing hardware. Therefore, the plan is to make those devices more affordable.and digital ads. For it to become a reality, the
“Our business model isn’t going to primarily be around trying to sell devices at a large premium or anything like that because our mission is around serving as manyas possible,” Zuckerberg noted. “So we want to make everything we do as affordable as possible, so as many people as possible can get into it and then compounds the size of the inside it. So that’s how I’m thinking about this at a high level.”
Sunglasses aren’t the only hardware Facebook is reportedly working on. Multiple reports have claimed Facebook is developing a smartwatch with a built-in cellular connection and a detachable display. Initially, the watch was believed to be first out the gate, but it seems Zuckerberg had other plans.
Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Engadget.