Facebook has been with us for the longest time, and they’re not planning to back out anytime soon. Now, it wants to be with you every day. Facebook has released the world’s first “smart glasses,” which have a pair of cameras for taking images and videos, a microphone speaker for listening to podcasts, and a voice assistant to make everything hands-free for the best experience.
In collaboration with eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica, Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses will be released on Ray-Ban’s website and selected stores. Users may snap and store hundreds of photos or dozens of videos on the glasses before transferring to their phones using Facebook’s new View app, which requires the glasses to be connected to an iOS or Android device. Thanks to the twin cameras, users will apply 3D effects to their images and videos after uploading them to the app.
Facebook managed to fit a tremendous amount into a frame that’s only a few millimeters thick and five grams heavier than a standard pair of Wayfarer which are the standard Ray-Ban glasses. With a long or short push of the device’s only button, each wing of the glasses conceals a camera that can shoot 5 megapixel still photographs and videos of up to 30 seconds. They also have open-ear speakers for listening and a three-microphone audio array to enable rich voice and sound transmission for calls and videos.
Swiping to change the volume or answering a phone call will be possible thanks to the touchpad on the right arm of the glasses. An integrated white LED will light up to alert people in the vicinity that a video is being taken. However, the glasses aren’t waterproof or splash-proof. The smart glasses are available in various color and lens combinations and come in three classic Ray-Ban styles. Prescription lenses are 100% compatible with the Ray-Ban Stories. The starting price is $299, and additional charges will be added with additional polarized and transition lenses options.
This is a significant milestone for Facebook, which first revealed details about the Ray-Ban partnership and product at its AR/VR developer conference in September. The device is a stepping stone towards its AR ambitions and an attempt to familiarize people with the concept of high-tech glasses.
And, of course, there’s the issue of privacy to think about. Because Facebook isn’t exactly known for its trustworthiness in this area, the photos and videos are kept in a separate app, so it won’t be directly linked to the Facebook or Instagram apps, at least until you decide to share them there.