Ray-Ban launched first-gen Smartglasses with partner Facebook today, who just happened to win a patent for future AR Glasses last month
Today, Ray-Ban and partners Facebook and EssilorLuxottica were excited to launch "Ray-Ban Stories, a first generation pair of smartglasses that gives users a new way to capture photos and video, share your adventures and listen to music or take phone calls — so you can stay present with friends, family and the world around you.
Built in partnership with Facebook and EssilorLuxottica, Ray-Ban Stories start at $299 USD and will be available for purchase in 20 style combinations online and in select retail stores in the US, as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and the UK. The glasses could be ordered with plain clear lenses or in the form of sunglasses.
You could check out Ray-Ban's site for more news on "Ray-Ban Stories." Facebook released the first ad for their new smartglasses as presented below. Make sure to open the video full screen or you won't see Zuckerberg talking as the video is set in an odd vertical mode.
Ray-Ban Stories’ dual integrated 5MP cameras let you capture life’s moments as they happen from a unique first-person perspective. You can easily record the world as you see it, taking photos and up to 30-second videos using the capture button or hands-free with Facebook Assistant voice commands.
A hard-wired capture LED lights up to let people nearby know when you’re taking a photo or video.
Streamlined, open-ear speakers are built in, and Ray-Ban Stories’ three-microphone audio array delivers richer voice and sound transmission for calls and videos. Beamforming technology and a background noise suppression algorithm provide for an enhanced calling experience like you’d expect from dedicated headphones.
(Click on image to Greatly Enlarge)
Ray-Ban Stories pairs with the new Facebook View app, so you can share your stories and memories seamlessly with friends and social media followers. The Facebook View app on iOS and Android makes it easy to import, edit and share content captured on the smart glasses to apps on your phone: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and more.
You can also save content to your phone’s camera roll and edit and share from there. And new, exclusive post-capture enhancements built into Facebook View let you create unique content to put a special spin on your posts.
Facebook wins Smartglasses Patent & more
While Facebook has been granted many patents for smartglasses, headsets and accessories, their latest win was published by the U.S. Patent Office on August 17th and it covers a lot of ground from an AR smartglasses system that includes a neckband that carries the heavy load of including processors, graphics chips, a rechargeable battery and more. Facebook's patent FIG. 2 below is an illustration of exemplary augmented-reality glasses that may be used in connection with a neckband. While Apple could use the iPhone, Facebook has decided to go with a neckband.
(Click on image to Enlarge)
Facebook more specifically notes that pairing external devices, such as neckband #205, with augmented-reality eyewear devices may enable the eyewear devices to achieve the form factor of a pair of glasses while still providing sufficient battery and computation power for expanded capabilities.
Facebook's patent further states that some or all of the battery power, computational resources, and/or additional features of augmented-reality system #200 may be provided by a paired device or shared between a paired device and an eyewear device, thus reducing the weight, heat profile, and form factor of the eyewear device overall while still retaining desired functionality.
For example, the neckband may allow components that would otherwise be included on an eyewear device to be included in the neckband since users may tolerate a heavier weight load on their shoulders than they would tolerate on their heads.
The neckband may be communicatively coupled with eyewear device #202 and/or to other devices. These other devices may provide certain functions (e.g., tracking, localizing, depth mapping, processing, storage, etc.) to the augmented-reality system.
In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the neckband may include two acoustic transducers (e.g., 220(I) and 220(J)) that are part of the microphone array (or potentially form their own microphone subarray). The neckband may also include a controller (#225 of FIG. 2) and a power source (#235 of FIG. 2).
The power source in the neckband may provide power to the AR smartglasses and/or to the neckband.
The power source may include, without limitation, lithium ion batteries, lithium-polymer batteries, primary lithium batteries, alkaline batteries, or any other form of power storage. In some cases, the power source may be a wired power source including the power source (#235) on the neckband instead of on the smartglasses may help better distribute the weight and heat generated by power source.
There's a lot more to Facebook's granted patent and we'll likely cover it in a separate report this weekend, time permitting.