A pair of Ray Bans is as much a standard as a Facebook account. You’ll be hard pressed to come across somebody who’s never owned a pair of Ray Bans—whether it be Way Farers or Aviators. Just the same, you’ll most likely find members of both our inner and outer circle on Facebook or Instagram. Suffice it to say, these two brands have become more than just classics. They are, if anything, extensions of who we are—our identity, our preferences, our lifestyle.
The announcement of a partnership between Ray Bay and Facebook was nothing short of match made in heaven. Smart eyewear has been around for sometime now. In past years, tech giants from Google to Amazon and Snapchat launched their own versions of smart glasses. But a pair that could be worn beyond our lives on social media was truly something to be excited about. The idea that one could sport their favorite Ray Ban frames and use it to stay digitally connected embodied a true marriage between fashion and tech.
The team at Luxoticca, Ray Ban’s parent company explains, “It’s the first pair of smart glasses that combine style and everyday wear-ability to help you stay present with friends, family, and the world around you. Ray Ban Stories lets you capture, share, and listen in a whole new way.” There are three styles to choose from: Wayfarer, Round and Meteor. Wearers can also choose from several colors and lenses, including prescription and polarized. In contrast to earlier smart glasses, this first generation offering looks, fits and feels like your everyday eyewear.
Functional features of Ray Ban Stories support individuals who enjoy sharing snippets of their lives on social media. Dual 5MP cameras are installed on the front of the frames that enable users to take photos or videos of up to 30 seconds—absolutely hands-free. A button discretely placed on the side or temples allows one to take videos in a click. Photos are taken with two. The team at Luxoticca expounds, “Use the Facebook Assistant to access hands free voice commands like ‘Hey Facebook, take a photo.’ This let’s you snap spontaneous moments.”
Images captured using Ray Ban Stories may be downloaded, edited, enhanced and shared using the Facebook View. Sharing is possible across applications beyond just Facebook. Content created using Ray Ban Stories may also be shared on Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger. This companion app is available for both iOS and Android. Sadly, not all countries have access to Facebook View.
A gadget that could potentially be used as a tool for surveillance or espionage will obviously raise concerns regarding privacy. At the product launch, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg clarifies, “We put this LED light on the front of the glasses so that people around you will know when you are taking a photo or a video. It lights up to let people know that the camera is on. That’s more than what smart phones do.”
Other features of Ray Ban Stories allow for a completely hands-free experience. Frames are made with built-in Bluetooth and microphone. This allows users to listen to music, watch media and take calls all while wearing Ray Ban Stories. Casing for Ray Ban Stories are also built as charging docks to that you can power up your smart eyewear while on-the-go. Power life for these smart glasses go up to six hours.
From a fashion standpoint, this innovation just might possibility lead to a change the way we portray and perceive sartorial styles. Imagine this: you capture images and moments almost the exact same way that you see them: through your eyes. And instead of mobile phones perpetually held in one’s hand—as if they were part of the human anatomy—a pair of smart eyewear might just become the new style standard.