Live Updates: Facebook to Unveil Ray-Ban Smart Glasses

Live Updates

Facebook revealed its much-anticipated smart glasses Thursday, titled Ray-Ban Stories, after months of teasing features and developments.

The company partnered with Ray-Ban to work on the design of the technology, following a series of smart glasses by competitors that proved unpopular due to their looks. The smart glasses' key features include built-in audio and a microphone to listen to music or take phone calls, camera and video capabilities and a voice-activated Facebook assistant.

Customers can also use the new Facebook View companion app to import, edit and share photos and videos captured through the wearables to various several social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Snapchat. The glasses are priced at $299, available in a range of Ray-Ban frames and can be purchased with polarized or prescription lenses.

While some expressed excitement over the release on social media, others expressed concern over potential privacy and security risks associated with video and photo-capturing glasses. Amnesty Tech, a digital rights offshoot of Amnesty International, posted a tweet Thursday stating that Facebook is a "surveillance advertising company" that relies on "exploiting" the data and privacy of users for business. Tagging Ray-Ban in the tweet, Amnesty Tech asked the glasses company if they had "thought this through."

Facebook published a microsite in conjunction with the product release detailing considerations and security safeguards that went into the making of Ray-Ban stories. The platform said that it would not access media from users without consent, nor would the platform mine video and photo content captured by users to generate personalized ads. However, if a user shares content from Ray-Ban Stories to another social media app, "that app's terms apply."

In regard to protecting the privacy of other civilians who may be captured in a Ray-Ban Stories video or photo, Facebook cited an LED light built onto the wearables that turns on to alert others nearby when a user is taking video. The platform also advised users to "be a good community member" and avoid using the wearable to "engage in harmful activities like harassment, infringing on privacy rights, or capturing sensitive information like pin codes."

"We baked privacy into these glasses from the start, with input from third-party experts and we will continue to engage in open conversation with experts and the public as we continue on our journey to delivering AR glasses," said Andrew Bosworth, Vice President of Facebook's Reality Labs project, in a Twitter thread.

The live updates for this event have ended.

Ray-Ban teases smart glasses launch
Ray-Ban teased the launch of its smart glasses collaboration with Facebook before officially releasing the product Thursday. Ray-Ban

Digital Rights Organizations Question Privacy, Security of Ray-Ban Stories

Amnesty Tech, a digital rights offshoot of Amnesty International, questioned the safety of the newly-released Ray-Ban Stories wearables in regard to privacy.

The organization posted a tweet Thursday stating that Facebook is a "surveillance advertising company" that relies on "exploiting" the data and privacy of users for business. Tagging Ray-Ban in the tweet, Amnesty Tech asked the glasses company if they had "thought this through."

While the wearables include an LED light that turns on when a user is recording video to alert other people nearby, some raised concerns that the light is not easily seen.

Daniel Leufer, who works for another digital rights organization, Access Now, tweeted that the light is "nowhere near visible enough" and prompted others to "think of a sunny park."

"These things allow for seriously creepy recording of people in public spaces. It's a failure of responsible design," the tweet said.

A Facebook microsite addressing privacy and security concerns about the Ray-Ban Stories instructed users to "be a good community member" and avoid using the wearable to "engage in harmful like activities like harassment, infringing on privacy rights, or capturing sensitive information like pin codes."

Facebook Addresses Potential Privacy Concerns Regarding Ray-Ban Stories

In anticipation of privacy concerns that could arise regarding Facebook and Ray-Ban's new video capturing smart glasses, Facebook posted a microsite detailing considerations and security safeguards that went into the making of Ray-Ban stories.

Facebook said on the site that it would not access media from users without consent, nor would the platform mine video and photo content captured by users to generate personalized ads. However, if a user shares content from Ray-Ban Stories to another social media app, "that app's terms apply."

Facebook collects glasses data "required to make sure your glasses and app are working properly," but whether any additional data regarding the number of photos taken, time spent taking videos or average video length is shared is a decision for the user.

In regard to protecting the privacy of other civilians who may be captured in a Ray-Ban Stories video or photo, Facebook advised that users turn the wearables off in private spaces and "respect people's preferences" if asked to stop recording.

"We baked privacy into these glasses from the start, with input from third-party experts and we will continue to engage in open conversation with experts and the public as we continue on our journey to delivering AR glasses," said Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's vice president for augmented and virtual reality, in a Twitter thread.

We baked privacy into these glasses from the start, with input from third-party experts and we will continue to engage in open conversation with experts and the public as we continue on our journey to delivering AR glasseshttps://t.co/2QcbEgdoGb

— Boz (@boztank) September 9, 2021

Ray-Ban Stories Paired With New Facebook View App to Share Content on Social Media

The freshly-released smart glasses collaboration between Ray-Ban and Facebook are meant to pair with a new app from the social networking company called Facebook View, according to a Facebook press release.

After users capture photos and videos using the Ray-Ban Stories wearables, they can use Facebook View to import, edit and share those moments on various social networking platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok and Snapchat.

Users are also able to download content directly from the glasses to their phones, the release said.

Ray-Ban, Facebook Officially Launch Smart Glasses: Ray-Ban Stories

Ray-Ban and Facebook officially launched their collaborative smart glasses product Thursday, titled Ray-Ban Stories.

The glasses are available in multiple Ray-Ban frame styles and include features such as built-in audio and microphone to listen to music or take phone calls, camera capabilities, a voice-activated Facebook assistant and the ability to share memories captured through the glasses on Facebook, according to the Ray-Ban website.

The glasses are available to be purchased with polarized or prescription lenses.

Today we're making Ray-Ban history with @Facebook. ​

Introducing Ray-Ban Stories, our first generation of smart glasses: the new way to capture, share and listen. ​
Watch the full video on YouTube: https://t.co/g8LTRVb8Ud #RayBanStories@roccobasilico Mark Zuckerberg pic.twitter.com/1y5qKzCXtU

— Ray-Ban (@ray_ban) September 9, 2021

Smart glasses to launch at 11am (ET)

After much speculation, Newsweek can confirm that Facebook and Ray-Ban will reveal their smart glasses in just over 30 minutes.

Watch this space...

Ray-Ban releases further tease image

The company has changed the image from its website from the date of the launch to telling customers they will "be back very soon" ahead of the launch.

The picture appears to show Ray-Ban's iconic Wayfarer glasses with two cameras on the edge of the frame.

Ray-Ban teases smart glasses launch
Ray-Ban is telling customers they will be "back very soon" ahead of the Facebook smart glasses launch Ray-Ban

Could tweets by Facebook's VP be a hint?

A video was tweeted out by the chief of Facebook's Reality Labs project, Andrew Bosworth (or 'Boz'), earlier this week with the sunglasses emoji.

Could this be the first footage of the Ray-Ban glasses in action?

🏌️😎 pic.twitter.com/ul748jBS2Y

— Boz (@boztank) September 7, 2021