Facebook has just launched its new Ray-Ban smart glasses with a built-in camera and speakers. The glasses were made in collaboration with Ray Ban’s parent company EssilorLuxottica and are called Ray-Ban Stories. They allow users to listen to music, take 30-second videos, photos, take calls, and share them on Facebook. This isn’t the first time a major tech company has tried out smart glasses. Snapchat’s Spectacles and Google Glass are two major examples of such products.
These glasses are made to look like normal glasses as much as possible. You can also use the Facebook View app to pair with smart glasses. Facebook has already spent millions in VR & AR research, which excludes the acquisition and developmental cost of Oculus and its VR headsets. The company is also working on wristband technology to support its future VR and AR products.
“Ray-Ban Stories (smart glasses) are an important step towards the future when phones are no longer a central part of our lives and you won’t have to choose between interacting with a device, or interacting with the world around you.”Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Ray-Ban Smart glass Specs and Price
Smart glasses have gone on sale in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, Ireland, and Australia. Currently, the starting price is around $299 (roughly ₹21,975), which is quite a lot. However, if you want to buy a single-vision or progressive prescription lens version, that will set you back $509 (roughly ₹37,387) and $614 (roughly ₹45100). Users can also take the base model to their nearest optical store to install their own prescription lenses. However, this would most likely violate our terms of service and cancel your warranty.
The Facebook Ray-Ban smart glass comes equipped with:
- Two 5MP cameras
- A set of micro-speakers
- Three-microphone audio array
- Optimized Snapdragon processor
- Capacitive touchpad
- Battery and more.
According to Facebook, the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses weigh only five grams more than the Original Wayfarer design. The company also seems to compensate for the hardware by providing better software support to the camera and speakers. They are available in four different styles (Wayfarer, Wayfarer Large, Round, and Meteor) and five colors.
Obviously, many also raised privacy concerns, and with Facebook’s track record, it is a question that needs to be asked. For those afraid of being filmed without consent, there is a white LED light in the front to alert people that they are being filmed. However, one can easily conceal this with tape or paint. By default, Facebook’s smart glasses collect data such as battery status, email addresses, and passwords for your Facebook login. You can also opt-in to share additional data to improve the product, but again, given Facebook’s track record, think twice before doing so.