(SOT-FACEBOOK CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG)
“We wanted to build something that would easily enable you to capture and share experiences from your point of view. We thought if we’re going to build best-in-class glasses, a great place to start is with the iconic Ray-Ban frames that people already love.”
Mark Zuckerberg and his team at Facebook are the latest tech company to try to make video glasses go mainstream.
The social media giant Thursday unveiled what it calls “Ray-Ban Stories,” its first pair of smart glasses, which allows wearers to capture photos and short videos – of course to easily post on Facebook, Instagram and What’s App.
Users can also listen to music and podcasts, as well as take calls.
Zuckerberg touted his push toward virtual and augmented reality in a slickly-produced Facebook video.
“Ray-Ban Stories is an important step into 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 is treading where another Silicon Valley giant has gone and failed.
Google set off a privacy firestorm when it launched Google Glass in 2013. The public was so offput by the video-recording frames that early adopters were called "Glassholes." The product was abandoned in 2015.
In an attempt to avoid that, Facebook has teamed up with Ray-Ban to make its model look less geeky, and address privacy measures by, including an LED light that appears when the glasses are recording.
Facebook, which has faced its own barrage of criticism over privacy and user data, said it would not access the media used by its smart-glasses customers without their consent and the $299 glasses would be an "ads-free experience."