Ray-Ban and Facebook launch “Stories”, smart glasses for everyone

The Ray-Ban Stories have finally arrived on the market , the result of the collaboration between Facebook and the Italian giant Luxottica. The news of a new generation of smart glasses had been in the air for a while: rumors and rumors had already been talking about an ongoing project between the two companies for more than a year, but there had never been any confirmations. Yesterday, simultaneously on Zuckerberg's Facebook profile and Ray-Ban's website, Stories made their world debut.

“Stories”, the smart glasses sons of Ray-Ban and Facebook

Luxottica has entered into a historic collaboration with Facebook and produced Stories , the first Ray-Ban smart glasses. Of course, smart glasses are nothing new: the first models arrived already in 2012, and Google Glasses are among the best known and used. The importance of this product, however, lies in the media coverage it is having and will continue to have, and in the accessibility it offers compared to other brands of smart glasses.

Source: Mark Zuckerberg

In fact, the glasses are presented as a classic Ray-Ban product , with the unmistakable frame of the brand. What they offer, however, is much more than a simple vision: the smart glasses mount two 5MP cameras , one for each eye, positioned near the temple of the glasses . The cameras offer automatic adjustment of light and photographic depth, and are also capable of making videos. The resolution is 2592 × 1944 for photos and 1184 × 1184 at 30fps for videos. The Stories are equipped with a bluetooth system to be connected to the smartphone or tablet, and allow you to make calls and listen to music.

The glasses offer an audio diffusion system through integrated speakers positioned at the bottom of the temples , just above the ear. There is also the voice interface, which can be activated manually or via the phrase “ Hey Facebook “, which will activate the system. At the moment the interface recognizes only English, but in the future support will be extended to other languages ​​as well, including Italian. Functional control is obviously touch and is positioned on the temples of the glasses. The case will take care of charging, an idea that will allow you to always have the glasses charged and will eliminate the need to carry separate cables and power supplies.

Stories, Ray-Ban and Facebook smart glasses
Stories , Ray-Ban and Facebook smart glasses

The Stories are also available for purchase in Italy at a price of 329 euros . It is possible to choose between three different models, distinguished by the shape of the lenses: the round , with round lenses, the wayfarer , with more squared lenses, and the meteor , similar to the previous one but with more rounded lenses and rounded corners. All models are unisex and the frame does not vary, having to support the presence of cameras and the touch system.

Facebook View

Behind the technology of Stories are Facebook and its developers. The voice control used by the smart glasses is Facebook Assistant , which allows the wearer to perform various actions without having to hold the phone. The commands that the assistant can perform are few and simple: they can take a photo, record a video and start or stop music playback. For this reason it cannot be compared to Alexa, Siri or the Google assistant. On the smartphone side we find the Facebook View app that deals with communicating with glasses and receiving photos and videos to share on social networks. The application allows you to import content created with smart glasses and share them on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp.

What about privacy?

After the initial enthusiasm, one wonders how Facebook has decided to manage the privacy problem . This is because, given the nature of the glasses, anyone could take pictures and shoot people without being noticed. To remedy the problem there is an LED light on the glasses, near the camera, which turns on when you are taking a photo or shooting. A solution that appears not entirely optimal, as it is still a small LED that you might not always notice, especially when you are outdoors and with strong sunlight.

Smart glasses could cause quite a few privacy problems.
Smart glasses could cause quite a few privacy problems.

For the rest, respect for privacy is left to the responsibility of those who use it. Facebook asks users to turn off the device in particular spaces, such as a doctor's office, public bathrooms or churches. It is to be understood whether the request will have the desired effect, even if it seems very difficult to us. The Stories , as beautiful and useful as they are, will certainly raise not a few privacy issues .

The article Ray-Ban and Facebook launch “Stories”, the smart glasses for everyone comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .