Facebook recently unveiled its first wearable: Ray-Ban story, Smart sunglasses built into the camera, microphone and speakers. If it sounds familiar, it could be because the specs are similar to what Snapchat has been doing with Spectacles for the past five years. Even names, Ray-Ban story, Looks like a big subtweet on Snap. But despite its major beginnings, Spectacles may still not be a big hit for the company. And, with $ 300 price tags in the box and Facebook names, Ray-Ban stores can also be a solid sale.
Both Spectacles and Ray-Ban Stories present the social media companies with something much bigger that has made them. Snapchat and Facebook hope to determine the future of augmented reality and bet that camera-enabled sunglasses will help them get there.
But look closely, and companies have taken very different approaches. While Ray-Ban Stories looks very close to regular wafers, the Spectacles never looked like a typical pair of sunglasses. Snapchat has become more ambitious about integrating its augmented reality effects into glasses. And the company has recently started experimenting with one New set Specs that are capable of the original AR, although they are not for sale.
Non-AR “smart glasses” are still a niche product, but Ray-Ban Stories may still be the best iteration. The frames make it easy to capture first-person photos and videos, and the built-in speakers look amazingly good. Most importantly, they look more like designer sunglasses than a piece of tech. But Facebook’s reputation is hard to ignore, especially when you’re wearing a camera designed for it In your real face.
But if you’re obsessed with the future of augmented reality and what might one day be possible, both Ray-Ban Stories and Spectacles give an interesting look at how the biggest social media platforms are thinking about getting there.
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