They are finally here… but not with us! The first connected glasses from Facebook, designed in partnership with Ray-Ban, will try to democratize a concept that had made an oven at Snapchat, while waiting for augmented reality.
After having a preview of the design of the Ray-Ban Stories, we were able to attend their official presentation on Thursday, September 9, 2021 in the evening. The opportunity to learn more about these first smart glasses designed by Facebook in partnership with the Essilor Luxottica group.
Mark Zuckerberg and Rocco Basilico, Chief Wearables Officer at EssilorLuxottica introduce #RayBanStories – the new way to capture, share and listen.
— Facebook (@Facebook) September 9, 2021
Among the points that we were eager to clarify was obviously the list of features. We have therefore learned that these glasses – which do not integrate a screen and do not offer augmented reality as was the case with Google Glass – allow you to capture photos and videos. “Authentically”, but also to broadcast music or make calls through small speakers installed on the branches.
20 styles and glasses to choose from
Ray-Ban comes in four models (Wayfarer, Wayfarer Large, Round and Metro) and five colors, which will allow consumers to choose from about twenty different styles. The lenses can obviously be solar, polarizing, degraded or tailor-made (and on medical prescription). Marketed from $ 299 (nearly three times the price of a pair of classic Ray-Ban), these Facebook glasses will initially only be available in a selection of countries including France. In fact, they will only be found initially in Australia, Canada, the United States, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom.
From a purely technical point of view, the glasses are all equipped with a set of two 5 megapixel photo sensors. According to Facebook, it is the assurance of “Capturing moments of life as they occur from a unique and subjective point of view, in the first person”. Should we remind Facebook that when we take a photo with a smartphone or a camera, we also do it “in the first person”?
Precautions on privacy
The camera is controlled with the button on the right branch of the glasses or by using the Facebook assistant to take a photo or start a video recording by voice. A point that is important when the glasses take a photo or film: a small LED lights up to alert people around. Necessary, but not necessarily sufficient to respect the privacy of those in the field of vision. In view of Facebook’s liability in terms of privacy protection, it is not impossible that the company is severely attacked on this point (as Snapchat had also been during the launch of its Spectacles glasses).
On the sound part, Facebook boasts the integration of open speakers and three microphones to correctly capture the user’s voice during calls or video comments, as well as the general sound environment. For simple listening to music, the orientation of “Sound beams” and a background noise cancellation algorithm are believed to improve the listening experience. The company evokes a quality “Comparable to that of conventional headphones”, which does not mean much and, despite our research among the first tests already published, it is difficult at this time to know what these glasses are really worth from an audio point of view, so much this part is just touched by the articles.
In particular, we would have liked to have a comparison with the Bose Frames, knowing that this audio addition is one of the points that differentiates the Ray-Ban Stories from the Spectacles.
The dedicated Facebook View application
Of course, Facebook glasses are used in conjunction with an application, called Facebook View, which helps users edit and share captured content with their friends and on social networks. Available on Android and iOS, it looks rather simple and well thought out, and can interact with Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp apps, but also with those of competing services (Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, etc.).
It will be interesting to see what will be the public’s appeal for this product, which will inevitably benefit from the notoriety of Ray-Ban, but which has everything of an expensive gadget for technophiles, knowing that the photos and videos captured are not a priori not as good as those taken with a smartphone and that a good pair of headphones will probably do better than its built-in speakers.
Risk Disclosure: The articles and articles on Arover.net do not constitute investment advice. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are high-risk assets, and you should do your due diligence and do your own research before investing in these currencies.