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Ray-Ban Stories: Wearing a Piece of Facebook on Your Face – Cool or Creepy?

What exactly do Ray-Ban Stories offer and what are some of the privacy concerns? We explain.

Updated
Tech and Auto
4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Ray-Ban stories are designed to take photos and shoot 30-second videos.</p></div>
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Global social media giant Facebook has launched its first set of smart glasses called Ray-Ban Stories – in partnership with popular sunglasses manufacturer Ray-Ban.

Ray-Ban Stories will enable you to shoot photos and videos handsfree, using the equipped cameras and three microphones. The smart glasses, which have inbuilt speakers, can also play music and make calls.

Interestingly, this is not the first such experiment by a tech giant. Google LLC and Snap Inc had also released a similar range of smart glasses but failed miserably after the technology sparked privacy concerns.

But what exactly do Ray-Ban Stories offer and what are some of the privacy concerns? We explain.

Ray-Ban Stories: Wearing a Piece of Facebook on Your Face – Cool or Creepy?

  1. 1. What Are Facebook Ray-Ban Stories?

    Ray-Ban stories are designed to take photos and shoot 30-second videos. Users will also be able to make phone calls and play music using these smart glasses.

    These glasses have gone on sale in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, Ireland, and Australia, and are priced at $299 (Rs 21,975 approx).

    Ray-Ban Stories’ three-microphone audio array delivers voice and sound transmission for calls and videos.

    The glasses work on Beamforming technology and a background noise suppression algorithm that provides calling experience like you’d expect from dedicated headphones.

    “Ray-Ban Stories (smart glasses) are an important step towards the future when phones are no longer a central part of our lives and you won’t have to choose between interacting with a device, or interacting with the world around you"
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
    Expand
  2. 2. How Do Ray-Ban Stories Work?

    These smart glasses have two cameras in each top corner, and the right temple consists a button on the top which can be used to capture video and photos.

    The glasses can also be activated using Facebook Assistant. Users can simply say, "Hey Facebook, take a picture," or "Hey Facebook, take a video."

    Ray-Ban stories pair with an app called Facebook View, where photos and videos you capture are saved.

    After installing the app, which is available on Google Play Store or Apple App Store, you will be directed to follow a series of prompts to connect your smart glasses to your iPhone or Android devices.

    It should be noted that once a photo or video is captured, you'll have to go to the Facebook View app and import all the snaps onto your phone.

    Within the app, you can create montages or add filters, then share them to Facebook or Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and even platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat.

    Expand
  3. 3. Are These Glasses Based on Augmented Reality?

    It should be noted that there's no augmented reality here. You can't post status updates or like posts from the glasses.

    These are straight-up sunglasses, but offers high-tech features including cameras, microphones and speakers to capture audio, photos, and videos.

    Facebook, in a blog post, explains that these glasses are a step towards augmented reality.

    "We see virtual and augmented reality as the next computing platform – with humans placed squarely at the center. Like today’s computers and smartphones," a statement by Facebook read.

    Expand
  4. 4. What Are the Privacy Concerns With Facebook’s Smart Glasses?

    Italy's data protection authority on Friday, 10 September, sought clarifications from the the social media giant over the newly launched smart glasses – to assess whether the product is compliant with the existing privacy laws.

    According to a report by news agency Reuters, the Italian authority has raised concerns over the smart glasses feature to film people, in particular children, as well as on systems adopted to make data collected anonymous.

    However, Facebook in a blog post said that it baked privacy directly into the product design and functionality of the full experience, from the start.

    The company says it has taken the following steps to safeguard users' privacy:

    • Hardware protections: A power switch to turn off the cameras and microphone, as well as an LED hardwired to the camera that shines a white light when you’re taking photos or videos to notify people nearby.

    • Controls: You determine things like your personal preferences for importing photos and videos and when and where you share content you capture with the glasses.

    • Data collection: Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses collect data that’s needed to make your glasses work and function, like your battery status to alert you when your battery is low, your email address and password for your Facebook login to verify it’s really you when you log into the Facebook View app, and your WiFi connectivity.

    • Control over your Voice transcripts: The use of Facebook Assistant for voice command-powered capture is totally optional. You can view and delete your voice transcripts, and you always have the option to turn off voice storage and/or Facebook Assistant in Settings.

    • Ad-free experience: Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses and Facebook View are ads-free experiences, so you won’t see ads when using the glasses or app.

    • Encryption: Photos and videos are encrypted on the smart glasses. And the glasses can only be paired with one account at a time, so if you lose your Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses and someone tries to pair them with a new phone and Facebook account, any data and media left on the glasses will be automatically deleted.

    Expand
  5. 5. Do You Really Need Ray-Ban Stories?

    Ray-Ban Stories lacks several features including 3D spatial audio features that have been seen in similar products such as Bose Frames and Amazon Echo Frames.

    It should be noted that these glasses can nowhere be seen as a replacement for smartphones.

    In addition, the glasses lack AR features and are more like a point and shoot camera with speakers and lenses attached instead of smart glasses.

    If you are an influencer and love recording on the go, this product can be a real joy. But for the average consumer, while Ray-Ban stories can certainly be fun to use, there are better alternatives already available in the market.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

What Are Facebook Ray-Ban Stories?

Ray-Ban stories are designed to take photos and shoot 30-second videos. Users will also be able to make phone calls and play music using these smart glasses.

These glasses have gone on sale in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, Ireland, and Australia, and are priced at $299 (Rs 21,975 approx).

Ray-Ban Stories’ three-microphone audio array delivers voice and sound transmission for calls and videos.

The glasses work on Beamforming technology and a background noise suppression algorithm that provides calling experience like you’d expect from dedicated headphones.

“Ray-Ban Stories (smart glasses) are an important step towards the future when phones are no longer a central part of our lives and you won’t have to choose between interacting with a device, or interacting with the world around you"
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

How Do Ray-Ban Stories Work?

These smart glasses have two cameras in each top corner, and the right temple consists a button on the top which can be used to capture video and photos.

The glasses can also be activated using Facebook Assistant. Users can simply say, "Hey Facebook, take a picture," or "Hey Facebook, take a video."

Ray-Ban stories pair with an app called Facebook View, where photos and videos you capture are saved.

After installing the app, which is available on Google Play Store or Apple App Store, you will be directed to follow a series of prompts to connect your smart glasses to your iPhone or Android devices.

It should be noted that once a photo or video is captured, you'll have to go to the Facebook View app and import all the snaps onto your phone.

Within the app, you can create montages or add filters, then share them to Facebook or Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and even platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Are These Glasses Based on Augmented Reality?

It should be noted that there's no augmented reality here. You can't post status updates or like posts from the glasses.

These are straight-up sunglasses, but offers high-tech features including cameras, microphones and speakers to capture audio, photos, and videos.

Facebook, in a blog post, explains that these glasses are a step towards augmented reality.

"We see virtual and augmented reality as the next computing platform – with humans placed squarely at the center. Like today’s computers and smartphones," a statement by Facebook read.

ADVERTISEMENT

What Are the Privacy Concerns With Facebook’s Smart Glasses?

Italy's data protection authority on Friday, 10 September, sought clarifications from the the social media giant over the newly launched smart glasses – to assess whether the product is compliant with the existing privacy laws.

According to a report by news agency Reuters, the Italian authority has raised concerns over the smart glasses feature to film people, in particular children, as well as on systems adopted to make data collected anonymous.

However, Facebook in a blog post said that it baked privacy directly into the product design and functionality of the full experience, from the start.

The company says it has taken the following steps to safeguard users' privacy:

  • Hardware protections: A power switch to turn off the cameras and microphone, as well as an LED hardwired to the camera that shines a white light when you’re taking photos or videos to notify people nearby.

  • Controls: You determine things like your personal preferences for importing photos and videos and when and where you share content you capture with the glasses.

  • Data collection: Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses collect data that’s needed to make your glasses work and function, like your battery status to alert you when your battery is low, your email address and password for your Facebook login to verify it’s really you when you log into the Facebook View app, and your WiFi connectivity.

  • Control over your Voice transcripts: The use of Facebook Assistant for voice command-powered capture is totally optional. You can view and delete your voice transcripts, and you always have the option to turn off voice storage and/or Facebook Assistant in Settings.

  • Ad-free experience: Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses and Facebook View are ads-free experiences, so you won’t see ads when using the glasses or app.

  • Encryption: Photos and videos are encrypted on the smart glasses. And the glasses can only be paired with one account at a time, so if you lose your Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses and someone tries to pair them with a new phone and Facebook account, any data and media left on the glasses will be automatically deleted.

ADVERTISEMENT

Do You Really Need Ray-Ban Stories?

Ray-Ban Stories lacks several features including 3D spatial audio features that have been seen in similar products such as Bose Frames and Amazon Echo Frames.

It should be noted that these glasses can nowhere be seen as a replacement for smartphones.

In addition, the glasses lack AR features and are more like a point and shoot camera with speakers and lenses attached instead of smart glasses.

If you are an influencer and love recording on the go, this product can be a real joy. But for the average consumer, while Ray-Ban stories can certainly be fun to use, there are better alternatives already available in the market.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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