The idea of mobile technology and wearables has been around for some time now. Yet, the way that this technology is advancing means that some big surprises could be around the corner, such as the sunglasses that let you upload content to Facebook. How do they work and are they likely to be successful?
The Full Story
This new product has been produced by Ray-Ban in association with Facebook. These smart sunglasses give you a way of capturing images and videos of what you see, without even using your smartphone.
Known as Ray-Ban Stories, they aren’t quite as revolutionary as they might appear to be. The fourth generation of Snapchat spectacles were released earlier this year, with the early models going to augmented reality (AR) developers rather than being put on sale to the general public.
The Facebook glasses have a starting price of $299, but what do you get for the money? They have a couple of built-in, five-megapixel cameras, speakers, a voice assistant feature, and three microphones. Interestingly, they don’t include live-streaming capability as you need to use the Facebook View app to upload content to the social media site.
You can also add content to other platforms that are owned by Facebook, such as Twitter and TikTok. In addition, they allow you to listen to music and take calls wherever you are. The sunglasses are based on the Ray-Ban Wayfarer model and look pretty much like standard glasses, with no bulky items or obvious giveaways to their true nature.
Is Wearable Tech the Future?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already spoken in the past about the importance of the wearables sector. He imagines a future where our phones are no longer the most important piece of technology that we carry around.
Zuckerberg was clear that he sees these Facebook glasses as being a step on the road to more advanced wearables with AR and a more complete computing platform. The company now has around a fifth of its employees working on virtual reality (VR) and AR, having bought VR company Oculus a few years ago.
We have also seen an increase in the use of the term metaverse in Facebook communications. This is a word used to describe the experience of being inside the internet in a way that reality and the virtual world are combined. The new sunglasses could be seen as a way of letting us enter the metaverse.
When considering the possibility of wearable tech like this, we need to bear in mind the huge failure of Google Glass. Whether the world is now ready for smart glasses or not is a question that we should see answered before too long.
How Mobile Technology Has Changed Established Industries
Perhaps the key to understanding the potential success of Facebook glasses is by looking at how mobile technology has already changed other industries. How has this become a normal part of life for us and could the idea of smart wearables could be looked on as the natural extension of these success stories?
Banking is a clear example of how people have happily embraced the mobile revolution. Over 86% of Americans checked their bank balance using a mobile device in 2020, while the Bank of America has 30 million active mobile users. Any security or privacy fears we once had have been long overcome thanks to secure apps with two-step authentication and other advances.
The casino industry has also gone mobile in recent years, with the best mobile casinos including Sugar House, Golden Nugget, and Unibet. These sites tend to offer at least 95% of the games found on the same casino’s desktop site and many give a welcome bonus of 100% or more to new players. Some casinos have native apps, while others choose to optimize their main sites.
Mobile apps have also changed the way we shop, with over a third of e-commerce transactions now carried out on smartphones. As with the other industries we have looked at, the majority of people now appear to feel comfortable with moving their money back and forward using a mobile device, thanks to the range of secure mobile wallets and other payment methods now available.
Summary and Look Ahead
It seems that there is still some work to do before people are convinced to use smart glasses like this. By looking at how other industries have helped to increase public confidence in mobile technology, Facebook may find a way to make their glasses a way of life before too long.