Social media giant Facebook has joined hands with Ray-Ban to unveil its first “smart glasses”. The eyewear has been named ‘Stories’ apparently in homage to the social media format invented by the Snapchat founder, Evan Spiegel and later adopted by Instagram, Facebook and other popular sites. The spectacles comes with dual 5-megapixel cameras that can capture images and 30-second videos, with built-in speakers and a microphone for making calls, a companion app that isn’t Facebook, and a charging case.
The smart glasses have been priced at $299 roughly Rs. 22,000). The Facebook x Ray-Ban smart glasses can be purchased online via Ray-Ban’s website are available at selected stores in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Italy, Ireland and Australia. The frames are offered in four colour options — Black, Blue, Brown, and Green. These come with six options for lenses that include regular, polarised, and transition lenses. Users will have the option to choose between Clear with Blue Light Filter, Brown, Dark Grey, Green, Polarised Dark Blue, Transitions Clear with Dark Green lenses.
In a blog post, Facebook said the glasses let people “capture life’s spontaneous moments as they happen from a unique first-person perspective,” as well as listen to music, talk to people and, using the Facebook View app, share photos and videos on social media.
While earlier reports speculated that the smart glasses would have augmented reality features, the Ray Ban Stories have cameras for regular photo capture only. Facebook’s foray in this segment comes seven years after the ill-fated Google Glass, and five years after Snap rolled out Spectacles. Facebook has entered into a multi-year partnership with EssilorLuxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban Glasses. The glasses are the first version of what’s likely to be more wearable gadgets as the social media giant looks for platforms beyond smartphones.
Anticipating privacy concerns, the California-headquartered company said that by default the glasses “collect data that’s needed to make your glasses work and function, like your battery status to alert you when your battery is low, your email address and password for your Facebook login to verify it’s really you when you log into the Facebook View app”