New smart glasses from Ray-Ban and Facebook

Ray-Ban and Facebook recently introduced Ray-Ban Stories, smart glasses that allow you to listen to music, make calls, take photos and record videos. They’re available in 20 variations: Shoppers can choose between three frame styles — Wayfarer, Round and Meteor — as well as different color and lens options such as clear, sun, transition and prescription. Privacy features are built into the glasses, too, both brands noted, like customizable settings that allow you to opt in or out of sharing additional data, view and delete voice transcripts and more.

The brands said Ray-Ban Stories — which require a Facebook account to use — weigh about 5 grams more than Ray-Ban’s original Wayfarer design — they compared the weight of the glasses to a teaspoon of salt. The tech features are integrated into the glasses’ design.

The smart glasses are designed with two 5MP cameras, which you can use to take photos and record videos as long as 30 seconds. To capture a moment, either click the capture button on the frame or use Facebook Assistant voice commands — just say “Hey Facebook” and direct the device to snap a shot or start recording.

To listen to music or podcasts, as well as take calls, Facebook and Ray-Ban added open-ear micro speakers to the glasses in addition to three microphones. You can connect your phone to the glasses via Bluetooth. There’s also a touchpad installed on the arms of the frames, allowing you to adjust volume, play or pause audio content and more.

Additionally, the glasses pair with the new Facebook View app. You can import photos and videos to the app, edit them and share them to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok and more. Or you can save content to your phone’s camera roll. The smart glasses come with a portable charging case that repower the glasses up to three times. The charging case itself can be charged with the included USB-C cable.

As for the glasses’ privacy features, some are directly built into the frames, while others can be customized in the Facebook View app. On the frames themselves, white LED lights above the cameras alert those around you that you’re taking a photo or video. And you can turn off the cameras and microphones if you want to use the glasses without their smart features.

In addition to the Ray-Ban Stories, Snap Inc. also offers smart glasses: the Spectacles. Google previously sold the Google Glass.

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