David Wehner, Facebook CFO
Facebook CFO David Wehner on Tuesday provided insight into smart glasses the company is building with Ray-Ban, saying that the upcoming device will not be close to what the tech company hopes to accomplish with augmented reality technology.
“The first product we’ll have in that space, it’s — I’ll set expectations — it’s not going to be anywhere near where we want to eventually go, but it’s the smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with Luxottica later this year,” Wehner said, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
Facebook announced the upcoming devices in September 2020, but provided no detail on what features or capabilities the upcoming product will include. The only detail the company has revealed is that the smart glasses will be released sometime in 2021.
“This is going to be a big milestone in starting to integrate the core technologies into a regular glasses form factor and seeing how people use them,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in September during the announcement of the device.
Wehner explained that augmented and virtual reality technologies remain key investment areas for Facebook.
“We’re making a significant investment in augmented reality. There’s a lot of fundamental technologies that we need to build over a long period of time to get there,” he said. “Augmented reality and virtual reality have the potential to be that next platform that we think is a natural evolution of the depth and richness of computing combined with the social aspect which is why we’re investing so significantly in this area.”
Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s head of hardware, last week confirmed that the company is considering incorporating facial recognition technology for smart glasses devices, but only if people want that feature. Bosworth also reiterated that Facebook is on track to release its Ray-Ban smart glasses at some point in 2021.
“We’re working hard with our partner Luxottica making sure the form factor is right, making sure the functionality is good, and it’s coming together pretty nicely,” he said.