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Get ready for AR – Facebook’s first smartglasses are on sale now

Ray-Ban Stories are the first step to the future of augmented reality

Social media behemoth Facebook shared the first look at its augmented reality (AR) glasses in a global video reveal this week. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO at Facebook said, “Glasses are going to be an important part of building the next computing platform and unlocking a whole new set of experiences for people”.

Called Ray Ban Stories, Zuckerberg pointed out they’re, “An important step towards a future when phones are no longer a central part of our lives – and you won’t have to choose between interacting with your device or the world around you.”

Picture ‘perfect’

Ray-Ban Stories are all about the ability to, “Capture and share experiences from your point of view”, whether that’s triggered by a push button or with Facebook Assistant and voice control.

As well as image capture, two discrete micro speakers provide audio playback so you can listen to music or podcasts. Those speakers will also work in combination with the mics to allow you to take calls from your mobile, compatible with Apple devices running iOS 13 and up, as well as Android smartphones from v8.1.

Style and price conscious

Available in more than 20 styles, the cameras, speakers and microphones add just 5g extra weight to Ray-Ban’s classic Wayfarers. The normal sunglasses cost £137 and with the Stories selling for £299, consumers are effectively paying £164 for two cameras, three mics, a pair of speakers, WiFi and Bluetooth.

Notably, this hardware is the first step on a long road to ‘real’ augmented reality. As Zuckerberg himself admitted, “There’s a lot of technology that still needs to be developed – and miniaturised – to deliver the AR glasses that we all envision for the future”.

Ray Ban Stories are available today from $299 in select countries, with more to follow.

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Written By

Steve is an award-winning editor and copywriter with more than 20 years’ experience specialising in consumer technology and video games. With a career spanning from the first PlayStation to the latest in VR, he's proud to be a lifelong gamer.

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