Meta and Luxottica confirmed work on new smart glasses.
The two companies collaborated on smart glasses that shipped last year, Ray-Ban Stories. Stories are essentially camera glasses for taking hands-free first person photos and videos. They also have speakers and a microphone for music and phone calls but there is no display of any sort. Snapchat has been selling a similar product, Spectacles, since 2017.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that this is a separate project from the “true AR glasses” the company is working on, indicating that even if these glasses have a display, they won’t be able to place virtual objects in your environment.
In April The Information reported Meta plans to launch a second generation of Ray-Ban Stories in 2023 and The Verge reported Meta plans to launch non-AR smart glasses with a heads-up display, codenamed Hypernova, in 2024. It’s unclear if these reports refer to the same product. Is Hypernova the second-gen Stories, a further out third-gen, or something else entirely?
EssilorLuxottica has a near-monopoly on the eyewear market worldwide – its brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley are some of the most recognizable on the planet. Maintaining this partnership could be a key element of Meta’s strategy to take on Apple later this decade.