Facebook is partnering Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica in a multi-year collaboration to develop the next generation of smart glasses, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced during the company’s annual conference Facebook Connect.

As part of the partnership, the social media major will work with EssilorLuxottica to build a range of smart products that combine Facebook apps and technologies, Luxottica’s brands, and Essilor’s advanced lens technology.

The first product will be Ray-Ban branded smart glasses scheduled to launch in 2021.

“We’re passionate about exploring devices that can give people better ways to connect with those closest to them. Wearables have the potential to do that. With EssilorLuxottica we have an equally ambitious partner who’ll lend their expertise and world-class brand catalogue to the first truly fashionable smart glasses,” said Andrew Bosworth, Vice-President of Facebook Reality Labs.

“We are especially proud of our collaboration with Facebook, which projects an iconic brand like Ray-Ban into an increasingly digital and social future. Combining a brand that is loved and worn by millions of consumers around the globe with technology that has brought the world closer together, we can reset expectations around wearables,” said Rocco Basilico, Chief Wearables Officer at Luxottica.

The companies will disclose more details related to the product name, specs, software capabilities and pricing closer to launch in 2021.

The glasses are less likely to be categorised completely as an augmented reality device, but will be similar to Snap Spectacles or something like Amazon’s Echo Frames, the Verge reported.

Facebook is also working on a research project called Project Aria to build first-generation AR wearables. It is testing a prototype pair of glasses with Facebook employees and contractors as part of the initiative.

“The device will use sensors to capture video and audio from the wearer’s point of view, as well as their eye movement and location data,” Facebook said.

It further ensured that all data privacy and security measures were being taken as part of the project.

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