BELLUNO. To look is to share: what you see is already on social media, passing directly from the glasses and not from the smartphone. Luxottica’s “smart glasses” project is heading for the last mile. Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s “Reality labs”, stated that the production of a pair of glasses born from the collaboration with EssilorLuxottica, the Belluno-French giant that yesterday presented the numbers of a strong six-monthly growth (turnover of 8.77 billion, + 5.7% at constant exchange rates compared to the pre-pandemic numbers of 2019, net profit of 854 million, + 41.5%).
“We seriously want to explore innovative ways in which people can connect with friends and family, near and far – said the manager of the most famous social network in the world – wearable gadgets have the potential to do so. At EssilorLuxottica we have an equally ambitious partner, who will lend their experience and world-class catalog for the first truly fashionable smart eyewear ».
This would be Facebook’s somewhat primal approach to what should be future glasses entirely of augmented reality. The first model, built on the basis of Ray-Bans and codenamed “Project Aria”, could instead be equipped with only a few sensors and a camera, to take photos and record videos to be shared directly on social media, without going through a smartphone. .
A project of this kind has already been seen years ago, by Snap, the company behind the development of the Snapchat social network, which had launched the Spectacles sunglasses, useful not only for capturing content from the surrounding world but also to show in it graphics and worlds in three dimensions. The Facebook Ray-Bans produced by Essilux are part of the social vision that founder Mark Zuckerberg defined as a “metaverse”, a world to bring interaction with the platform out of the classic patterns of digital use.
In the recent call with analysts to discuss the results of the second quarter of 2021, Zuckerberg himself returned to talk about the collaboration between Facebook and Ray-Ban: “Looking ahead,” said Zuckerberg, “the next product we will release will be our first Ray-Ban smart glasses made in collaboration with Essilor Luxottica. The glasses will have the iconic line of the brand and will allow you to do some interesting things ».
What interesting things will soon be discovered. Certainly it will be eyewear that promises to be both smarter and more elegant and sober than “Google glasses”, the previous collaboration with Silicon Valley from which Luxottica had departed with a tranchant judgment by Leonardo Del Vecchio: “I would be embarrassed – he said – walking around with that thing on my face ». Homo social yes, but without sacrificing fashion and elegance.