from the glass-holes-part-due dept.
As previously rumored, Facebook has partnered with EssilorLuxottica to produce Ray-Ban Stories, one of the first potentially viable attempts at mass-market smart glasses. They are similar in some ways to early iterations of Snapchat Spectacles but with a more stylish aesthetic that looks right in line with other Ray-Ban glasses.
The glasses have two front-facing cameras, each at 5 megapixels. Users can take a photo either with a touch gesture or with a "Hey Facebook" voice command. So people in the room can tell that pictures or video are being taken, a white LED on the front of the frames will light up. Videos can be as long as 30 seconds.
[...] The Ray-Ban Stories are equipped with a Snapdragon processor, but they don't have displays in the lenses. So these are by no means augmented reality (AR) glasses.
Also at Wccftech.
Snap today released the next generation of Spectacles, its wearable camera, with new features for taking photos and water resistance. The sunglasses, which have the same striking form as the first-generation model, have been slimmed down and now come in three jewel tones: onyx (black), ruby (red), and sapphire (blue). They're available to order starting today at Spectacles.com for $150 — $20 more than the previous model.
If you've followed the story of Spectacles so far, you know that the first version proved to be a costly misstep for Snap Inc. Although reviewers were generally impressed with their whimsical design, Snap made far more units than the 150,000 or so that it ultimately sold. The company wrote down nearly $40 million in merchandise, and laid off about a dozen people.
Even worse, from the company's perspective, is that people who bought Spectacles didn't use them for very long. According to Business Insider, less than half of users continued to use Spectacles a month after buying them. They were presented as the future of communication, but the first iteration of Spectacles felt more like a toy — a relatively cheap novelty that people used a handful of times before stuffing into a drawer.