Facebook moves into smart glasses with Ray-ban – video

Facebook moves into smart glasses with Ray-ban – video

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The French company behind the Rayban brand has launched a range of smart glasses that link to Facebook.

The smart glasses developed by EssilorLuxottica integrate two 5Mpixel cameras with open speaker, three microphone array, touchpad and voice control with a wireless link to a phone into its existing Wayfarer, Round and Meteor designs. With a Snapdragon processor handling audio beamforming technology and a background noise suppression algorithm provide, this adds just 5g to the weight.

The glasses use a charging connector in the carrying case to provide ‘all day’ operation, although the battery size is not specified. The arm hinges double as exposed barrels for docking into the charging case. Facebook Labs created 20 engineering validation tests (EVTs) for each model to standardize the arms of the glasses across the product line, designing the internal components so that they made sense from style to style.

The memory stores up to 300 photos at 2592×1944 or 30 30s video clips at a resolution of 1184x1184px@30fps. The connection is via a Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.1ac WiFi chip. A white LED  on the frame lights comes on to indicate the smart glasses are recording.

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The glasses do not add a display, and are similar to the Snapchat glasses launched in 2016. Snap earlier this year bought its UK supplier of waveguide technology for its move into augmented reality (AR) glasses with a built in display.

Facebook already has AR and VR technology through its Occulus division and has been working with microLED developers such as Plessey on displays for AR and VR glasses and headsets. 

“This is a milestone product that proves consumers don’t have to choose between technology and fashion – they can live in the moment and stay connected while wearing their favorite style of Ray-Bans,” said Rocco Basilico, Chief Wearables Officer at EssilorLuxottica.

“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. 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. We’re introducing an entirely new way for people to stay connected to the world around them and truly be present in life’s most important moments, and to look good while doing it,” said Andrew Bosworth, Vice President, Facebook Reality Labs.

The Ray-ban stories smart glasses are available now at $299 or €329 and include options for prescription lenses.

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