Facebook launches Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses

By Laura Berrill
Facebook announces its long-awaited foray into the smart glasses space with Ray-Ban Stories

The new Wayfarer-style smart glasses have been announced in partnership with eyewear firm, EssilorLuxottica and feature a pair of cameras for photos and videos, as well as a microphone and speaker.

Multiple smart features

The frames will allow users to snap photos and videos with the two onboard 5 MP cameras, listen to music with in-frame speakers and take phone calls. The glasses need to be connected to an iOS or Android device, although users can take and store hundreds of photos, or dozens of videos on the glasses before transferring the media to their phones via Facebook’s new View app. The twin cameras will also allow users to add 3D effects to their photos and videos once they upload them to the app.

The lightweight glasses weigh less than 50 grams and come with a leather hardshell charging case.

The glasses’ users will be able to control the glasses with physical buttons including a “capture” button to record media and an on-off switch. There is a touchpad on the right arm of the glasses, which will allow users to perform functions like swiping to adjust the volume or answering a phone call. Additionally, an onboard white LED will glow to indicate to the people around the wearer that a video is being recorded.

An awaited major launch for Facebook

This is a major launch for Facebook, which announced early details about the Ray-Ban partnership and product at its AR/VR-focused developer conference a year ago. The company has also indicated that the device is a stepping stone for its Augmented Reality ambitions, as well as an effort to get users acquainted with the idea of high-tech glasses.

In a launch video for the product, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said: “Ray-Ban Stories are an important step toward a 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.” 

 

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