Facebook has been actively working on several different projects lately. The social media giant has already dipped its toes in the world of VR with Oculus and the recent Horizon Workrooms. Now, the company has partnered with eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica to release Ray-Ban Stories, the newest lineup of smart glasses capable of capturing photos and videos on the go.
Ray-Ban Stories: Features and specifications
Ray-Ban Stories are paired with dual 5MP cameras to capture images and videos. Facebook also says that the twin-camera setup on these glasses allows users to add 3D effects to their pictures and videos once they upload them to the app. These glasses sport a couple of physical buttons, including a “capture” button and an on-off switch. It also offers touch control on the right arm of the glasses to allow users to perform functions like capturing photos and videos, volume adjustment through swiping, and connect/disconnect phone calls.
They also come with a pair of discrete open-ear speakers and three microphones to capture sound in all directions. According to Facebook, these smart glasses use beamforming technology along with a background noise suppression algorithm to provide an enhanced calling experience. Finally, users will be able to charge these Bluetooth-powered smart glasses through a portable hardshell leather charging case. Once fully charged, these smart glasses are expected to last six hours of straight audio playback or a full day of usage otherwise. To respect the privacy of other individuals, Facebook integrated a white LED on the glasses to let people around the wearer be aware that a video or photo is being taken. However, the smallness of the LED has drawn the ire of privacy regulators in Europe. Facebook also says that the photos and videos captured using Ray-Ban Stories won’t be used to serve ads. More information about privacy and safety measures can be found here.
However, a disappointing aspect of these new smart glasses is that they are neither waterproof nor splashproof. Moreover, these glasses do not have any in-lens display systems that augment the digital world on the lens, like seen in Snapchat’s latest Spectacles prototype.
How do these smart glasses work?
These new glasses can be paired with a smartphone (iOS or Android devices) over Bluetooth to explore its full functionality. However, users will still be able to capture and store up to 50 videos or 200 photos before syncing them with a smartphone. Facebook also announced the all-new View app, which serves as a content-sharing companion for Ray-Ban Stories. Users will be able to import, edit, create, and share unique content and manage the settings for the smart glasses under one roof using this new View app. It is available to download from Apple’s AppStore as well as Google’s PlayStore.
Ray-Ban Stories are available online and in select retail stores across the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, Italy, and the UK. Ray-Ban Stories are available starting at $299 in 20 different styles and color combinations. Users can also upgrade them with transitioned or polarized lens options at an additional cost.
Convenience — and privacy concerns
Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and companies around the globe are coming up with innovative gadgets to suit the various needs of users. While smart glasses can add convenience to answer calls or to take pictures and videos with ease, they can also help some people (creeps) violate other’s privacy by taking nonconsensual pictures, which could lead to harassment.
Image credits: Facebook