Facebook’s first entry into the smart glasses market is the Ray-Ban Stories. It features almost all of the technology present already in smart eyewear. It will allow capturing first-person photos and videos like Snap’s Spectacles. It will also allow the users to listen to media and take calls similar to Bose and Amazon’s speaker-enabled glasses. The significant thing to note in these glasses is that the hardware components are stored in the frame, so the overall look of the glasses gives a designer touch. Cameras are also situated in the corners of the glasses.
The Ray-Ban Stories is modelled on the Wayfarer style and weighs only five grams more than its standard version. The glasses include dual 5-megapixel cameras, Snapdragon processor, touchpad, speakers, three- microphone array, and other hardware. It is rather shocking to find all of that under such a weight. Both Facebook and Ray-ban hoped to normalize smart glasses to a point like wireless earbuds. And it is safe to say the rather normal-looking Ray-Ban Stories will achieve it. The people who got to test the glasses raised concerns about privacy. It has a bright LED that lights up while taking photos and videos but they found an issue with the placing of the camera.
Other than the Wayfarer style, it will also come in Round and Meteor frames by the brand in five different colours. It will also have the option to choose from clear, sun, prescription, transition, and polarized lenses. Facebook claims 24-hour battery life for the smart glasses. With the help of the charging case, the battery is expected to last for three days.
With the introduction of Ray-Ban Stories, Facebook is looking to compete with Snapchat’s Spectacles. Snapchat was into the smart glasses market since 2016.
The videos taken by Ray-Ban Stories are arguably smooth like some videos taken on GoPros. Photo quality might not look good. But it is possible to take photos with it without using smartphones. The photos and videos taken by the smart glasses can be imported from it using Facebook View, an app that facilitates editing photos and sharing them to social media sites. It is also comfortable to wear than any other smart glasses in the market.
The sound quality is comparatively good enough for podcasts and light music. It can be used while jogging or biking. Controls for the Ray-Ban Stories can be invoked by saying “Hey Facebook” to activate Facebook assistant or by clicking on the button on the right arm. It can also be activated by swiping on the side touchpad. Facebook claims that only minimal data will be collected to operate the smart glasses- like the battery level, Facebook login, and Wi-Fi credentials. The Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses are now available in the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and the UK and the prices will start at $299.