If it’s Ray-Ban written on it, there will be Facebook in the future. Together, the companies have developed smart sunglasses that are hard to distinguish from a classic Ray-Ban. But there is a lot of technology in the frame: whoever wears the “Ray-Ban Stories” can take photos and videos, listen to music and make phone calls. The $ 300 gadget will only be available in the US and five other countries initially, not including Germany.
Facebook has already achieved one goal: to start a discussion about privacy and social norms, said Andrew Bosworth, head of Facebook. This is exactly what happened. When Facebook introduced the glasses late last week, dozens of US media outlets asked the same question: are they sunglasses – or spy glasses?
A small white LED lights up as soon as a video is recorded. However, experience reports from the United States show that hardly anyone notices the light, especially not outside in the sun. A reporter who covered up the LED for her test told Facebook it violated the terms of service. The stalker should hardly be deterred.
After all, it becomes difficult to secretly film people over a long period of time. Facebook limits the recording time to 30 seconds. If you want to take more pictures or videos, you have to touch the temple or talk to the glasses: “Hey Facebook, take a video.” The Ray-Ban is therefore out of the question as a new James Bond toy.
Eight years ago Google Glass failed and Snapchat failed with smart glasses as well. Unlike the competition, Facebook focuses more on design than technology. You cannot broadcast live, or environmental information is projected into the field of view. The “Ray-Ban Stories” should be a fashion accessory with some additional functions. At least Facebook manager Bosworth is convinced that glasses will change social norms: in ten years, people will be asking, “Why don’t your glasses take pictures?” It’s funny.