Facebook to launch Ray-Ban AR smart glasses as profits exceed Wall Street expectations

Social media giant Facebook announced on Wednesday that its next hardware release will be a pair of smart glasses that are being developed in collaboration with Ray-Ban-based Essilor Luxottica group.

During the company’s earnings call during the second quarter of 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the glasses will have Ray-Ban’s “iconic form factor” and allow users to “do some things very ordered “.

Zuckerberg did not delve into these “orderly” features, but said he was “excited to put them in people’s hands and continue to move forward on the journey to augmented reality glasses in the future.”

Zuckerberg also did not expand on the technical specifications of the smart glasses or the timeline of when they will be launched.

It is rumored that Facebook smart glasses have been in development for quite some time. Last year, a report from The Verge claimed that the rumors of the glasses would not have an integrated screen.

It was also claimed that the engineers of the “Aria Project” team were experimenting with glasses.

In his keynote speech, Zuckerberg also talked about creating a virtual “metaverse”: a set of virtual and augmented reality (VR) technologies that would allow users to interact in 3D virtual worlds on the Internet.

“So what is metaverse? It’s a virtual environment [like] an embodied Internet in which you are inside, rather than just looking at it. And we believe this will be the successor to the mobile Internet, ”Zuckerberg said.

He described the metaverse as the next chapter of the Internet, which would require a significant investment not only from Facebook, but also from its entire partner ecosystem.

“In the next few years, I hope people move from seeing us primarily as a social media company to seeing us as a metaverse company,” Zuckerberg said.

At Wednesday’s conference call, Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook had doubled its profits in the second quarter of 2021 (which ended June 30), thanks to an increase in advertising revenue.

The company’s profit for the quarter was about $ 10.4 billion, much higher than Wall Street’s calculations of $ 8.7 billion.

Facebook said its total revenue over the three-month period was nearly $ 29.1 billion, 56% more than the same period last year.

“Growth in advertising revenue during the second quarter of 2021 was driven by a 47% year-over-year increase in the average ad price and a 6% increase in the number of ads running,” he added.

Still, the company expects “total year-over-year revenue growth rates to slow significantly” sequentially during the third and fourth quarters of 2021.

Chief Financial Officer David Wehner said sales growth could slow due to “regulatory and platform changes,” pointing to Apple’s recent iOS app tracking rules.

In April, Apple began implementing the iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 update, which allows users to use the application tracking transparency feature that “requires applications to obtain user permission before to track your data through applications or websites owned by other companies to advertise or share your data with data brokers. “

Facebook, which earns most of its advertising revenue, has backtracked on the changes, arguing that such changes would be devastating for small businesses that depend on specific ads and would hamper companies’ ability to effectively reach their ads. clients.

These changes are likely to have a greater impact on Facebook’s business in the coming months.

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