Facebook Has Launched Smart Glasses That Were Made In Collaboration With Ray Ban

Facebook has recently launched its new smart glasses, labelled Ray Ban Stories after their collaboration with the popular shades brand.

Smart glasses almost seem like a touch of death for tech companies at this point. One needs to look no further than the first major venture into this market to map out how others went. Google invented and attempted to popularize their own smart glasses, known as Google Glass, in 2014. The idea may have been met with some form of appreciation, but the actual product itself was widely ridiculed and criticized. Ultimately, the company cut its losses and stopped production. While other similar ventures would come and go, albeit on a much smaller scale, no real success would be seen. The social media company Snap tried their hand at the venture as well, launching their camera glasses labelled Spectacles. While these received a much better response early on, they never sold, and Snap reported a loss of USD $40 million.

Facebook’s attempt at making their own glasses takes the approach of collaborating with a major designer of spectacles and shades. Ray Ban’s been in the industry for years, and thus would have the know-how to make stylish glasses that sell fast. Other than that, if we’re being honest, the glasses are more or less exactly what Snapchat attempted to create with its Spectacles. They’re both glasses with social media capabilities that take pictures. That’s yet another thing that Facebook took from Snap, with the other prominent strike being stories (they even named the glasses Stories, amusingly), but we digress.

Naturally, as is the case with all of Facebook’s products nowadays, the concern for user privacy and safety was raised first. Facebook’s gone on record to state that the glasses were made with user privacy as a priority in mind. And that much seems to be true, at least judging by early reviews. The main concern raised by these reviews is the safety of other individuals. Ray Ban Stories, while being a nifty tool to use, can prove to be dangerous and invasive of others in the wrong hands. Since they have the ability to discreetly take pictures anywhere, with surprisingly well functioning 5 megapixel cameras, stalkers and the like now have a new platform to be creepy with.

Then again, such is the risk with almost any form of new technology. Let’s not forget, smart glasses have been around for a while, and such avenues would be sniffed out one way or another. As a precautionary method, Facebook’s added a white LED to the glasses, signifying when they’re taking photos and videos so other individuals can be made wary. This author also believes that smart glasses will keep coming back into the public eye in one form or another, despite their commercial failure. There’s something very futuristic and high tech about these devices, almost like what Back to the Future technology was to the youth back then. That’s clearly what these tech companies are trying to tap into as well, despite their failure at doing so. Maybe Facebook’s built different, who knows?

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