First look at Facebook's smart Ray-Bans coming 'sooner rather than later'

Facebook teases a first glimpse of its Ray-Ban smart glasses.

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Facebook's augmented reality project team suggests the company is well on its way to delivering its first Ray-Ban smart glasses. 

In September Facebook announced its first set of consumer smart glasses would be released in 2021 under the Ray-Ban brand.

Facebook hasn't yet said when consumers will be able to buy the smart Ray-Bans nor how much they'll cost, but the company could be gearing up to show off a beta or prototype soon.

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"The first glimpses of the future will arrive sooner than later as we launch our first pair of smart glasses from Ray-Ban, in partnership with Luxottica," said Andrew Bosworth, head of Facebook Reality Labs. 

The smart glasses are part of a multiyear partnership between Facebook and EssilorLuxottica announced last year. Presumably Facebook wants to make something better than Snap's Spectacles and with Facebook at the centre.   

The smart glasses will combine Facebook's apps and technologies with Luxottica's eyeglass brands, such as Ray-Bans. Essilor, which merged with Luxottica in 2018, brings advanced lens technology to the table. Facebook has only said the glasses would "help people stay better connected to their friends and family".

While the smart Ray-Bans will not be augmented reality glasses, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said they are a key step on the road to augmented reality glasses.

Facebook at the time also revealed plans around Project Aria, also a pair of glasses with lots of sensors, but these are not augmented reality glasses and won't be for sale. The glasses capture video, audio, eye movement and location data to help its research into building 3D maps that could be used in augmented reality glasses of the future.