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MARKETING GIMMICKS

An in-your-face marketing gimmick from Ray-Ban and Facebook

By our News Team | 2021

Ray-Ban Stories let you wear the social media platform on your face. But the question is: would you really want to?

Is this wearable technology that defines the future – or just another weird and wacky marketing gimmick?

In partnership with eyewear brand Ray-Ban, Facebook has released a pair of smart glasses that offer social media addicts the ability to capture photos and videos without even needing to pull out their phone.

Marketing gimmicks

Photo by Ruan Richard at Unsplash

For privacy reasons, the idea of smart glasses has always been a tricky sell. Previously, Google Glass was a commercial failure because of these privacy concerns. Many public bars reportedly banned anyone wearing them, while some people even reacted with violence when they suspected they were being surreptitiously recorded.

The latest smart glasses, called Ray-Ban Stories, are functionally similar to devices already on the market, such as SnapChat Spectacles. They allow users to capture images and video and upload them to their social media accounts via an app called Facebook View.

Users will be able to share content on Facebook and other Facebook-owned platforms. These include Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as non-Facebook apps such as Twitter, TikTok and SnapChat. Besides two five-megapixel cameras, the glasses have three microphones and built-in speakers, so they can respond to voice commands and also be used for calls.

Mark Zuckerberg discusses Ray-Ban Stories

The glasses are the latest step in Facebook’s strategy to extend its brand footprint and develop wearable tech. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg puts it: such devices represent “a future where phones are no longer a central part of our lives”.

It’s not augmented reality (AR), but during his product launch video, Zuckerberg presented the glasses as a stepping-stone to more fully realised forms of wearable AR. 

Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses and Facebook View are ads-free experiences, so wearers won’t see ads when using the glasses or app. 

The glasses feature a small light on the side of the frame, which is illuminated when recording. But it can easily be covered over, and while this would violate Facebook’s terms of service, it’s hard to see how Facebook would realistically stop anyone doing it.

 

Source: The Conversation

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