Yesterday, we launched Ray-Ban Stories, our first smart glasses built with EssilorLuxottica. To celebrate, Head of Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) Andrew “Boz” Bosworth sat down with special guest and EssilorLuxottica Chief Wearables Officer Rocco Basilico for the fourth episode of Boz to the Future, a monthly podcast from FRL.
Basilico is at the forefront of EssilorLuxottica’s efforts to develop and launch new wearable technologies for consumers. As Head of Luxury House Brands, he leads retail distribution for 60+ stores across North America, as well as wholesale partners.
Together, Basilico and Bosworth had a free-flowing conversation about the intersection of fashion and technology. They touched on Ray-Ban’s place among pop icons and pop culture throughout the decades, with a nod to its beginnings in 1929 as a way to protect US military pilots from the sun’s glare. In keeping with EssilorLuxottica’s history of innovation, inventing fashion eyewear from what was originally seen as a medical device, Basilico hopes that the launch of Ray-Ban Stories marks the beginning of a new category that puts the “smart” in smart glasses.
EssilorLuxottica and Facebook share a vision of a product that would let people stay in the moment while being creative and sharing content. And Basilico and Bosworth posit that the future of technology will increasingly be intertwined with fashion. An undeniably popular form of self-expression, fashion has long shown that form doesn’t necessarily have to suffer in the name of function. And wearing something with added value through technology could be life-changing in a meaningful way.
Smart glasses give us a glimpse of what will be possible down the road when the technology has matured enough to offer an all-day wearable design for always-available AR glasses. Ray-Ban Stories mark an important milestone on the road to AR glasses, and their use today is consistent with the use cases we expect to see in the future — giving people a way to stay present in the moment. They represent a new approach to smart glasses, with a laser-like focus on design. They deliver a compelling storytelling point of view without compromising in terms of comfort or style.
Basilico and Bosworth also discussed the metaverse — and the role that fashion will play within it as an important means of self-expression. As people gain access to rich digital canvases unbound by the constraints of real-world physics, we can expect to see traditional fashion houses find new successes, as well as the rise of new, brilliant minds.
You can tune in to Boz to the Future on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Facebook — or right here on Tech@Facebook. We’ll see you next month for a new episode.