Facebook, Ray-Ban New ‘Smart-Glasses’: Will You Wear Them?

In recent years, many tech giants have tried their best to launch internet-connected smart glasses – Google with its Google Glass, and Snap with Spectacles. Now, Facebook announced its latest foray in the same application.

Despite challenges as to whether or not people will wear connected virtual or augmented reality eyewear that is not meant for gaming, Facebook remains positive and has put its tech in Ray-Bans, in partnership with the European company EssilorLuxottica.

On Thursday, the companies unveiled Ray-Ban Stories — connected eyewear with built-in speakers and a microphone for making calls, a companion app that isn’t Facebook, and a charging case. The spectacles cost $299 and are available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Italy, Ireland and Australia.

The glasses come in 20 variations including Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer design, a round design, and its Meteor design. They are not waterproof so should not be used in the rain.

In a blog post, Facebook said the glasses let people “capture life’s spontaneous moments as they happen from a unique first-person perspective,” as well as listen to music, talk to people and, using the Facebook View app, share photos and videos on social media.

Facebook signed a multi-year partnership with EssilorLuxottica. The glasses are the first version of what’s likely to be more wearable gadgets as the social media giant looks for platforms beyond smartphones.

Ray-Ban Stories come out of Facebook Reality Labs which also oversees the Oculus virtual reality headset and the Portal video calling gadget.

Recommended Read: How Your Next iPhone Could Be Inspired by Ant Teeth?

To deal with privacy concerns, Facebook said that by default the glasses “collect data that’s needed to make your glasses work and function, like your battery status to alert you when your battery is low, your email address and password for your Facebook login to verify it’s really you when you log into the Facebook View app.”

Users can take photos and videos using the glasses, but they can’t post directly to Facebook or any other social media platform. That’s where the separate View app comes in.

To operate the glasses, users activate it with a little button on their temples that will capture 30 seconds of video with a short press, and a 2592 x 1944 pixel photo with a longer press.

Alternatively, users can say “Hey Facebook” and give voice commands to the glasses to take a photo or video.

When a photo or video is captured, it goes to a new app called Facebook View that can be used to share it on Facebook and Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram – as well as other apps like Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Another privacy-focused design choice is a small LED light hardwired to the camera (like the green light on Apple’s Mac computers) that shines white when the camera is taking a photo.

Built into the glasses are three microphones and Bluetooth connectivity, so users can connect to audio from their phone, make calls and send messages. There is an integrated touchpad on the side of the glasses allowing users to slide their fingers up or down to control the volume.

Facebook says it will last six hours per day for three days with a fully-charged case. 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.