Facebook’s first specs pave the way for public AR
Ray-Ban Stories is a $ 299 sunglasses powered by Facebook’s technology that can capture the wearer’s perspective for up to 30 seconds at a time. They take calls from your phone and stream music.
When the stories are out of power or closed, they are just a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses that look great on anyone. But while in use, they are helping to shape Facebook’s future steps in AR and VR.
You need the Facebook View app to access ultra-stable wide-angle capture from Ray-Ban Stories.
Base model sunglasses sell for $ 299 – Facebook shipped a free pair to use. You need to sign in with your Facebook account, then when you flip the switch and say “Hey Facebook take video” or “Hey Facebook take photo” it will capture your view. The videos are limited to 30 seconds, and the glasses get much hotter after recording several videos in a row on a summer day.
Lights and audio
There are two indicator lights – one facing inwards and the other facing outwards – which is turned on by a beep to start recording.
You can adjust the intensity of the beep but it cannot be turned off and you cannot use the settings to turn off the lights.
It comes with a charging case for storing the glasses and charging their batteries, just like the Apple Pal’s AirPods. Capture can also be started with the top button of the right hand – long press for static or short press to capture video. Wake Word-powered Facebook Voice Assistant can be turned off in the app’s settings.
I wanted to get my hands on Google Glass and Snap’s Spectacles for this first-person capture functionality but couldn’t find the time or money to make it happen. This feature must be used in a personal setting to see any value, and Ray-Ban Stories are the first smart glasses I’ve used.
An approach camera provides a personalized view that is usually only seen with GoPros or in highly produced commercials and movies. Ray-Ban Stories takes away most of that overhead and offers a one-press eye-level camera embedded in the frame of a familiar accessory. Although the glasses can play music streaming from your phone and answer calls with its microphone array, the real reason to think about getting them is to capture those first-person moments.
Video marketing agencies typically shoot ads shot with expensive stationary cameras and apply heavy editing to create a first-person approach, with actors breaking through the fourth wall to address the audience directly. Some readers will recall science fiction with the same technology as the 1995 Strange Days or Black Mirror episode. With these glasses, Facebook has created similar eye content for people who know me or follow me.
I left the glasses in my car on a small league baseball field because I don’t think it’s appropriate to use them in that context. Getting up from my lawn chair and pointing my phone at my own child is very different from staring in one direction for 30 seconds while wearing a dark pair of sunglasses that transmit white light. My mom wanted to see the glasses, so we brought them out to show them how they worked and we took some photos. She was impressed to see that she looked just like normal sunglasses.
Walking back to the car after a bit of a league game with the setting sun shining a beautiful golden light on a large open field, I can’t help thinking that this would be a great setting for Space Pirate Trainer DX Arena mode on Oculus Quest and saying “Hey”. Facebook removes video. In that context, appealing to Facebook literally seemed to be out of place rather than pressing a button. I didn’t pay attention at the time, but listening back to the video you can hear short snippets of conversations from other families as we climb into their cars.
In late 2020, Facebook shared some of its cutting-edge research in an “improved” hearing and discussed social norms that could affect it. And here I am, after about a year, walking around the baseball field and testing social norms with this new method of capture.
The act of making a photograph is what the photographer and the subject matter usually say. It can be a ritual to prepare for a pose when you know you are going to be captured nearby. You can smile while standing or in some cases try to remove the photo. If you don’t have the subject you want, you can also opt for your moment photo-bomb.
As a body-wrench camera, Ray-Ban Stories eliminates posing and framing from photography. Now the wearer is creating the whole world with a snippet of their vision and that means choosing the right moment to record or creating the right moment.