Facebook has released its Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, capable of recording videos, taking photos, and even playing music.
Years after Google’s first failed attempt (see Google Glass), and many other later attempts by the likes of Amazon, Snap, and Bose, Facebook has rolled out its first smart glasses created in collaboration with Ray-Ban.
The much-anticipated “Ray-Ban Stories” smart glasses – teased earlier last week – have the classic Ray-Ban Wayfarer, Round, and Meteor form factor, but include some extra technology as well. Quite impressively, the technology integrated within the skeleton adds only 5 grams compared to the non-smart version of the shades.
Taking into consideration that Google Glass flopped mostly because of its looks, Facebook and Ray-Ban went for what is probably the safest option embracing all tastes and face shapes: the three classic Ray-Ban styles, with five different hues available for the frame and a variety of lens options.
All in all, the product totals twenty possible style variations.
Their intended use, at least for now, is to take instant pictures and videos, make phone calls and listen to music. And yes, the design has achieved hiding the technology so well it’s hard to tell the glasses are smart.
Built-in dual 5MP camera lenses on the two sides of the frame, and a front-facing LED light, allow users to capture moments with a tap of a button located on top of the right temple – or with a simple voice command, without having to take out and hold any other device.
Aside from recording and taking pictures, the Ray-Ban Stories have Bluetooth and a 3-microphone audio array integrated, enabling the wearer to make calls or listen to music.
“Ray-Ban Stories is designed to help people live in the moment and stay connected to the people they are with and the people they wish they were with,” said Andrew Bosworth, Vice President of Facebook Reality Labs. “EssilorLuxottica has been nothing short of stellar in this partnership and through their commitment to excellence we were able to deliver on both style and substance in a way that will redefine the expectations of smart glasses.”
Purchasing the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses includes a case where users can charge them when they’re not being used. Ray-Ban Stories are not splash or water resistant.
Ray-Ban Stories are available already – although only at select Ray-Ban stores or on Ray-Ban’s website for now, and only to buyers in six countries, including the US, the UK, and Canada.
Prices start at $299 USD, with additional options offering the gadget with polarized lenses for $329 USD, with transition lenses for $379 USD and with prescription lenses, for a price subject to graduation.