Will Smart Glasses Ever Look Cool?

Will Smart Glasses Ever Look Cool?

Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer goes high-tech

Ray Ban Stories smart glasses

Ray-Ban and Facebook have partnered on new collection of frames called Ray-Ban Stories. The Wayfarer, Round and Meteor styles have all been upgraded with cameras, microphones, speakers and Bluetooth so you can share your content across your favorite social media—handsfree.

Several reviewers have said using them is simple and unobtrusive; that the speakers are surprisingly loud and full. The Verge said initial pairing was easy and syncing footage from the glasses took no time at all. But will they really take off?

Remember Google Glass? That project fizzled out, as bars in San Francisco at one point started barring Glass-wearers—also pejoratively known as “Glassholes”—from entry. Later came Snap's Spectacles, glasses that focused more on fashion and the novelty of recording 10-second video clips. Those, too, never really broke through.

But the electronics on these shades are so well hidden that there are just a few hints that something is different about them. For instance, there's a camera embedded in the edge of each side of the frame—like something from a spy movie. Which, of course, brings up some questions about privacy and surreptitious recording.

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The glasses start at $299 ($329 for polarized lenses) and come in five different hues.

Speaking of

Ray-Ban aviators history
Ray-Ban aviators history

As the brand celebrates the anniversary of their signature aviator shades, let’s look back at how this pioneering style came to be.