A pair of smart glasses with support for WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS passed through the FCC this week. They run software that’s based on Android 7. And as some folks have noticed from the line drawing of the label, they look a lot like Facebook’s Project Aria smart glasses when viewed in profile.
But there’s a decent chance these could be an Amazon product, not a Facebook one.
The FCC listing is from a shell company called Gnome Tarn LLC, which presumably gets its name from the Gnome Tarn lake near Seattle, Washington – where Amazon is headquartered.
There are also several clues in the FCC documents that suggest Gnome Tarn LLC is an Amazon-owned shell company with several similarities to the ones that the company used when submitting the Amazon Echo Buds, Amazon Luna game controller, and 2nd-gen Kindle Oasis.
Amazon does already sell a set of smart eyeglasses called Echo Frames. But they’re basically a normal set of eyeglass frames with built-in speakers and a microphone allowing you to talk to pair the frames with a smartphone and use them to talk to the Alexa voice assistant without removing your phone from your pocket or handbag.
These new smart glasses have substantially thicker frames, suggesting there’s more hardware inside, opening the possibility that the new glasses could be augmented reality or virtual reality hardware.
The shape is similar to what Facebook has been showing off in its Project Aria demo, so I can certainly see a case for these being the same glasses. But the FCC pattern suggests to me that if and when the new glasses are released, they’ll be an Amazon-branded product… unless the two companies are working together. That’s always a possibility – Facebook’s Portal smart display does use the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant, for example.
For what it’s worth, Facebook used its own name when submitting paperwork to the FCC for the Oculus Quest.