On Wednesday, Facebook revealed a prototype of the glasses, which were developed as part of a research program Project Aria, and will use its Silicon Valley staff to test the specs. Facebook is designing a consumer version in partnership with EssilorLuxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses, that it hopes to release next year.
“By wearing these devices as they go about their day, at home, on Facebook campuses (once they reopen) and in public,” Facebook said in its announcement, “the data they gather will support the development of head-tracking, eye-tracking, and audio algorithms that will one day make the dream of AR glasses real.”
The tech community has been trying to crack the glasses form-factor for years. Google was a pioneer with Google Glass in 2013. Google Glass were internet-connected specs that could record videos and photos and run apps like maps to give directions. The world was not ready for them though, and there were serious privacy concerns raised by the prospect of people walking around with surreptitious recording devices.
In 2016, Snapchat tried to make video glasses cool with the introduction of Spectacles.