Remember Google Glass (and how quickly it turned into a massive joke)? Well, buckle up, because augmented reality glasses have come back to the forefront of conversation among tech bros.

In a Facebook post forecasting the next decade (well, that’s the Zuckiest way to start a sentence ever), Mark Zuckerberg made a bold prediction: Augmented reality glasses will “redefine our relationship with technology” this decade.

Are we serious about these fancy glasses this time?

It may sound like the set-up to another joke, but Zuck makes a good argument: 

“Augmented and virtual reality are about delivering a sense of presence—the feeling that you’re right there with another person … [T]he next platform will help us be more present with each other and will help the technology get out of the way. Even though some of the early devices seem clunky, I think these will be the most human and social technology platforms anyone has built yet. 

To his point, CNBC reported late last year that Microsoft, Snap, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and others are all working on smart glasses, though we’re “likely years away from that.”

OK, cool. But who will win the race to give us a non-terrible pair of smart glasses?

It’s too soon to tell, but there are plenty of promising contenders. Microsoft just put its HoloLens 2 headset on sale last week, and while it’s too big and expensive ($3,500) for most, it’s a promising start. Meanwhile, Snap has its Spectacles 3 glasses, which may not incorporate AR just yet, but they do let users take pictures and videos before adding AR effects in the Snapchat app. And would you believe Google still sells Google Glass? (But CNBC predicts Google is working on building a foundation for new AR glasses this decade.)
 

theCLIKK’s Take: Each of these companies is motivated not just by the hardware sales but by the tremendous ad inventory and e-commerce opportunities created by a bespectacled always-online audience. This will be the voice assistant race all over again, except probably a lot more hilarious. Zuck has a point: This is the decade when we’re looking to incorporate technology more seamlessly into our lives. And what better way than PUTTING IT ON OUR FACE.

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