Facebook Enters Smart Glasses Market With Ray-Ban Eyewear

By PATRICK SEITZ

Following social media rival Snap, Facebook is taking baby steps into the nascent smart glasses market. Facebook stock rose Thursday after it announced a smart glasses product with Ray-Ban.

Facebook is calling the new Ray-Ban Stories spectacles its "first-generation smart glasses."

With Ray-Ban Stories glasses, people can capture video and photos, listen to music, and take phone calls. The glasses are the result of a partnership between Facebook and European-traded EssilorLuxottica, which owns Ray-Ban.

Ray-Ban Stories start at $299 and will be available for purchase in 20 style combinations online and in select retail stores in the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and the U.K. The glasses can use a range of lenses, including clear, sun, transition, and prescription.

Smart Glasses To Share Photos, Videos

The glasses have dual integrated 5-megapixel cameras. Users can take photos and up to 30-second videos using the capture button or hands-free with Facebook Assistant voice commands. The glasses also have built-in open-ear speakers and a three-microphone audio array.

Ray-Ban Stories glasses link to the new Facebook View smartphone app for iOS and Android. Using the app, people can share their photos and videos on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger as well as third-party apps like Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat.

Facebook's new smart glasses are designed for all-day use. They come with a portable charging case that gives users an additional three consecutive days of glasses use.

On the stock market today, Facebook stock rose rose a fraction to close at 378.

Coming Soon: Apple AR Glasses?

Like Snap Spectacles, the Facebook smart glasses are for mostly for taking pictures and videos hands-free for sharing with family and friends.

In May, Snap introduced its fourth-generation Spectacles, which include augmented reality technology. Augmented reality overlays digital images and information in a person's field of view. However, the new Spectacles are only available to software developers to see what sorts of applications they can create with them. Applications for AR technology include navigation, education, games, commerce and more.

Meanwhile, consumer electronics giant Apple also is developing AR smart glasses, according to media reports.

Follow Patrick Seitz on Twitter at @IBD_PSeitz for more stories on consumer technology, software and semiconductor stocks.


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