Facebook to Sell Ray-Ban Smart Glasses in Step Toward VR Effort
Facebook struck a deal with the Ray-Ban sunglasses brand to sell smart glasses that take photos, shoot video and have open ear audio for listening to music and taking phone calls. All for the low price of $299, according to a story on fastcompany.com.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he would like the glasses to become a replacement for the iPhone. The Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarers only weigh 5 grams more than a standard unelectrified pair.
According to a story on MIT’s technologyreview.com, these smart glasses have another advantage in that they can collect data for the company.
“Zuckerberg calls Ray-Ban Stories ‘one milestone on the path’ to immersive augmented-reality (AR) glasses. In 2020, Facebook announced Project Aria, which uses AR-enabled glasses to map the terrain of the public and some private spaces. This mapping effort intends to build up geolocation information and intellectual property to feed the data needs of future AR glasses wearers—and likely advance Facebook’s contribution to the metaverse. As Zuckerberg mentioned in a video introducing Ray-Ban Stories, he plans to ultimately replace mobile phones with Facebook smart glasses.”
The glasses don’t stream directly to Facebook, but instead videos and photos are sent to the user’s phone. Privacy may be an issue for some who object to how Facebook could secretly track them, the technologyreview.com story points out.
“Facebook’s View app ‘promises to be a safe space,’ according to one review, but uploading data through the View app to other Facebook apps makes it unclear which privacy policies apply and how content the glasses record could ultimately be used. People using Ray-Ban Stories may also be subjected to additional surveillance. The View app states that a wearer’s voice commands could be recorded and shared with Facebook to “improve and personalize [the wearer’s] experience.” The user must opt out to avoid this.”
The technologyreview.com writer, S.A. Applin worries about the ethics of the glasses and the privacy that could be compromised, especially if Facebook adds facial recognition to the glasses.
read more at technologyreview.com