Facebook teams up with Luxottica to ship Ray-Ban "smart glasses" in 2021

Friday, September 18, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Success is buying $3 glasses from a stand... and having everyone think they're Ray-Bans. Facebook disagrees, so it's partnering with Italian glasses giant Luxottica for its upcoming smart glasses. Luxottica makes fancy shades from luxury brands like Persol, Prada, and Oliver Peoples. But Zuck is only interested in its Ray-Bans:

  • What to expect: "Smart" Ray-Ban glasses, ETA 2021. FB was super vague about what actually makes these glasses smart. We're expecting photo taking/uploading functionality.
  • What not to expect: Augmented reality. The glasses don't have an integrated display — zero Pikachus will appear as you walk, and no 3D Insta model will pop up as you scroll your feed.

Is Facebook throwing shade?... FB would love to be the one to finally make smart glasses a thing, since all its tech peers have so far failed so far.

  • Google's "Google Glass" was an epic fail. They made people look like fake scientists without adding any daily value.
  • Snap tried with "Spectacles" (multiple times) and lost $40M on 300K unsold pairs.
  • Apple is working on Apple Glass, but we probably won't see those until 2023. Apple's being super secretive (classic) about the details.

Facebook thinks it can make this work by removing the "Facebook"... So far, Big Tech's smart glasses simply haven't provided much usable value. Facebook's differentiator: it's partnering with a well-loved sunglasses brand instead of designing the frames itself (like the other techies did). They're branded Ray-Ban glasses — not Facebook glasses. FB thinks it can avoid its competitors' failure by making "the first truly fashionable smart glasses.”