Facebook’s Ray-Ban sunglasses let you take photos and video hands-free

Facebook has unveiled Ray-Ban Stories, a new pair of eyeglasses with speakers, microphones and cameras built in, designed to let users take hands-free photos and videos.

The $449 glasses, built in partnership with eyewear company EssilorLuxottica and resembling a pair of traditional Ray-Ban Wayfarers, do not feature a display or an internet connection, and instead connect wirelessly to a user’s phone.

Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories let you take photos or videos without reaching for your phone, and also work like wireless headphones.

The Stories and their charging case together boast a three-day battery life, and enough built-in storage to hold 500 photos or 30 half-minute videos. Content can be moved to a smartphone using the new Facebook Vision app, but the glasses can’t upload to Facebook directly or be used for livestreaming.

“Ray-Ban Stories is designed to help people live in the moment and stay connected to the people they are with and the people they wish they were with,” said Andrew Bosworth of Facebook Reality Labs in a statement.

“We’re introducing an entirely new way for people to stay connected to the world around them and truly be present in life’s most important moments, and to look good while doing it.”

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Facebook has made it clear that these are a first-generation product and will be expanded in the future, with the plan to eventually make augmented reality glasses with screens.

The Ray-Ban Stories bear a passing resemblance to the Spectacles produced by Facebook rival Snap. Those launched in 2016 with basic cameras built in, but have since expanded to become much more complex, with the version released this year featuring AR screens as well as multiple cameras, microphones and speakers.

But while Snap only gives Spectacles to select creators and AR developers, Facebook is selling Stories online to the public. They’ll also be stocked by OPSM and Sunglass Hut.

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