Facebook and Ray-Ban are teasing an announcement around their upcoming smart glasses on September 9th. Ray-Ban posted a promotional page with a silhouette of a pair of glasses, the date “09.09 2021,” and the text “sign up now to get your release notification” — although it doesn’t specify whether that’s news about the release or the release itself. Ray-Ban’s homepage also promises that “this is one story you’re going to want to follow,” plausibly a reference to Facebook Stories.
The announcement coincides with some apparent teaser videos from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and virtual and augmented reality head Andrew Bosworth. The posts show point-of-view video clips from Bosworth and Zuckerberg, including Bosworth playing golf and Zuckerberg paddling a boat — all of it seemingly designed to highlight physically active and all-weather scenarios.
Facebook has called its glasses, developed in partnership with Ray-Ban parent company EssilorLuxottica, a stepping stone toward “full augmented reality glasses.” Zuckerberg confirmed in July that the glasses would be Facebook’s next hardware launch, although he didn’t announce a date at that time. He specified that the glasses would “have [Ray-Ban’s] iconic form factor, and they let you do some pretty neat things.”
The glasses are part of a larger Facebook initiative to build glasses that augment the world visually and aurally. But they won’t have features that are commonly associated with AR glasses like the ability to project images into the environment. Facebook is likely also saving its neural wristband technology — which it sees as the future of AR interaction — for a later release.