NEW YORK — Seven years after the ill-fated Google Glass, and five years after Snap launched its Spectacles, another tech giant is trying its hand at internet-connected smart glasses, hoping that this time around things might be different and loads of people will actually wear them.
It’s Facebook. In a partnership with Ray-Ban, parent EssilorLuxottica, the company on Thursday unveiled Ray-Ban Stories — connected eyewear with built-in speakers and microphone for making calls, a companion app that isn’t Facebook and a charging case.
“We’re passionate about exploring devices that can give people better ways to connect with those closest to them," said Andrew Bosworth, Vice President of Facebook Reality Labs, in a statement when the partnership was first announced. "Wearables have the potential to do that. With EssilorLuxottica we have an equally ambitious partner who’ll lend their expertise and world-class brand catalogue to the first truly fashionable smart glasses."
The spectacles cost $299 and are available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Italy, Ireland and Australia.