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The Facebook & Ray-Ban Smart Glasses

#facebook & #rayban launched their first #smartglasses last evening and it will be available for 299$.

The frames feature two-front facing cameras for capturing video and photos. They sync with a companion camera roll app called Facebook View, where clips can be edited and shared to other apps on your phone (not just Facebook’s own). There’s a physical button on the glasses for recording, or you can say “Hey Facebook, take a video” to control them hands-free.

Check out the promo video

Ray-Ban Stories are essentially a sleeker version of Snapchat’s Spectacles which debuted in 2016, Facebook has been at the forefront when it comes to virtual reality and holds a market advantage as their aggressive marketing & pricing has left all of the competing #virtualreality headset brands like #htcvive #valve #picovr #hp #samsung far behind.

This partnership with #rayban can be a primer for facebook as well as the large audience to understand the benefits and stay clear from the #privacy & #ethical issues which spelt the death of early movers such as #googleglass.

The Ray-Ban Stories has speakers on both sides of the frame can play sound from your phone over Bluetooth, allowing you to take a call or listen to a podcast without pulling your phone out. A touchpad built into the side of the frame lets you change the volume or play and pause what you’re hearing.

Ray-Ban Stories are the first product in a multiyear partnership between Facebook and the European eyewear conglomerate EssilorLuxottica. While they’re limited in what they can do, Ray-Ban Stories are the most normal-looking, accessible pair of smart glasses to hit the market so far. Both #facebook & #rayban see's them as a step toward more advanced augmented reality glasses that overlay graphics onto the real world.

The dual 5-megapixel cameras can capture just over three dozen, 30-second video clips or roughly 500 photos before the on-device memory fills up. A physical button on the top of the right side of the frame lets you manually capture if you’d rather not use the “Hey Facebook” wake phrase. (Facebook says its voice assistant only listens for that phrase when turned on and that its functionality is limited to starting recordings.)

A light on the inside of the glasses gives you a range of information: green for fully charged, orange for low battery, blue for pairing mode, red for dead battery or overheating, and white for a capture error. A separate, front-facing white light next to the right camera illuminates whenever the glasses are recording.

Facebook says the glasses take about an hour to fully charge and that the battery will last for roughly six hours with intermittent use. The companion View app shows a live readout of the battery when the glasses are paired. My battery drained by about 20 percent during heavy use for an hour.

The carrying case that comes with the glasses is sturdy, with a leather-like material and built-in charger that can refill the battery three times. The case itself charges via a USB-C cable that comes in the box.

The cameras in the glasses are nowhere as high quality as the cameras on modern smartphones. Instead, Ray-Ban Stories are meant to be used in moments when your hands are occupied

The companion View app is bare-bones, serving as a camera roll for the glasses with basic editing capabilities. You can favorite clips and do minor touch-ups before sending footage to any app of your choice.

The broader implications of smart glasses are still unknown. If they are eventually adopted by lots of people, they could have a chilling effect on the comfort others have in public spaces or become a tool for stalking.

While it’s operating at a trust deficit, Facebook hopes that products like Ray-Ban Stories can avoid past mishaps and show that it’s keeping privacy in mind.

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