Tech Tuesday: Facebook Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses

This week, Get Real co-founder, Rob Merrilees highlights the Ray-Ban Stories announcement from 9/9/2021. A smart glasses collaboration between Ray-Ban and Facebook.

Click To Read Transcript
Hey it’s Rob Merrilees from Get Real and on this week’s Tech Tuesday I’m going to talk about the announcement from Facebook and Ray-Ban on September 9th of their new Ray-Ban stories smart glasses the stories start at 299 dollars there’s been a lot of press coverage since then about this announcement and it follows on the heels of the release earlier this summer of Snaps spectacles smart glasses product offering which is really an augmented reality a pair of glasses the spectacles were nowhere near as stylish as the Ray-Ban stories uh which really looked pretty much like regular Ray-Bans let’s talk about the glasses they’re definitely fashionable they’re only a little bit slightly bulkier than traditional Ray-Bans it’s not even immediately evident that these are glasses with technology inside them the glasses have five megapixel cameras inside them three microphones and speakers at the end of each temp at the end of each temple the glasses have a six hour battery life you charge them in their case stories has the ability to take up to 500 pictures or record 35 30 second videos all of which can be downloaded later sent to one’s Facebook account and so on they can be used as headphones for listening to music although others will be able to hear you doing so if you’ve got the music set on high small light which will go on when you are filming to let others know that that’s what’s happening there are lots of lens choices and the traditional Ray-Ban frame shapes notably one can get prescription lenses for these as well and that might be a game changer here’s my take people already have concerns about Facebook and privacy there’s history there these are being marketed primarily with the Ray-Ban branding as a result of that you can see Facebook on the cover of the box but that’s about it and although in one form these might look like traditional sunglasses or glasses of course they’re not in fact they’re not even waterproof so be careful if you’re taking them to the beach now how do you interact with these you can press a button on the side to start filming to take pictures or you can actually say hey Facebook take a video not a lot different than hey Siri uh if you’re hesitant to say hey Siri when you’re in public imagine your hesitancy you’re saying hey Facebook take a video um that probably is going to cause a lot of folks to be hesitant about doing that in in in public but if you’re at home if you’re with your family or with your kids I think it’s much more likely that you’ll feel pretty comfortable uh talking to your glasses as opposed to just pushing pushing the button in fact it’s probably a lot easier than taking your phone out and that’s what Facebook is is counting on a part of their marketing campaign is it’s time to look up again uh meaning not down not down at your at your phone now the world’s a different place than it was seven eight years ago when google glass was introduced people weren’t always on their phones back then not everyone was always on their phones uh back then and the stories have an ability with this light that’s in the corner it’s not super obvious but it is there to indicate that you’re filming as compared to google glass when people didn’t know whether they were being filmed or not so we do have to allow uh for the possibility that these could take hold in a way the google glass didn’t there might be another effect though too which is that people with regular Ray-Bans might be suspected of having the new Ray-Ban stories and so all these folks that have no idea about the Ray-Ban stories might potentially get accused or suspected of filming somebody when they didn’t want to be filmed so it is a bit of a risk for Ray-Ban to engage in this effort with Facebook but obviously they’re counting on enough success that not just with this release but with the plans down the down the road to to to make it worth that worth that risk Facebook is concerned this release reminds me a bit of their strategy when they deployed the first oculus quest they’re trying to learn from a a new installed user base about their experiences understand the problems they’re facing with the glasses in the field and gain insight into what they should be building for version 2.0 presumably a year or so from now with Facebook capable of integrating more technology into into the Ray-Ban stories than they have yes just as the chipset that was available when the quest was released was the first quest was released was significantly more robust than what they actually put inside it but by holding back on the technology now they can accomplish some additional objectives they can make sure that the stability of the user’s experience is is rock solid they can have an even more powerful second launch as they integrate more capabilities into those glasses that launch undoubtedly will have the augmented reality capabilities integrated that into the lenses themselves you’ll be able to see data in the lenses that that you’ve pre-programmed that you wanna that you wanna have available to you some like myself had been hoping that uh the AR capabilities would be included in the in the product announcement yes uh this this month but in the end Facebook decided to save those for a later date this is really just the warm-up let us know your own thoughts and reactions particularly if you decide to get a pair yourself just put them in the comments for those that are waiting on apple to release their own augmented reality glasses you’re not alone everyone’s excited to see what they deliver uh presumably next year great uh have a great day thanks for tuning in to Tech Tuesday.