Highsnobiety
EssilorLuxottica

Facebook and Ray-Ban parent company EssilorLuxottica have come together to develop augmented reality glasses that you actually will want to wear. Sorry, Google.

The Ray-Ban Stories glasses, shaped like Ray-Ban's Wayfarer, Round, and Meteor styles, are part of the tech giant's bid to replace smartphones.

If that sounds like a tall order, consider the internal tech: powered by an optimized Snapdragon processor, the lightweight Ray-Ban Stories glasses feature an integrated 5-megapixel camera to take pictures and record videos, open-ear speakers, and three-microphone audio arrays for calls and videos. Their high-tech lenses can even be polarized or fitted with prescriptions.

"This is a milestone product that proves consumers don’t have to choose between technology and fashion — they can live in the moment and stay connected while wearing their favorite style of Ray-Ban," said Rocco Basilico, Chief Wearables Officer at EssilorLuxottica.

Given the failure of Google Glass and general disappointments of other smart glasses, it seems like tricky territory for Facebook to tread.

The California-based social media giant is hoping to sidestep some of the previous blunders with its Ray-Ban Stories-exclusive app, Facebook View, which will allow users to import, edit, share, and upload content from their glasses to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and various platforms that aren't owned by Facebook. Presumably, this streamlining will make the user interface more fluid.

"Ray-Ban Stories is designed to help people live in the moment and stay connected to the people they are with and the people they wish they were with," continued Andrew Bosworth, Vice President, Facebook Reality Labs. "EssilorLuxottica has been nothing short of stellar in this partnership and through their commitment to excellence we were able to deliver on both style and substance in a way that will redefine the expectations of smart glasses.”

It remains to be seen how the companies will combat the privacy concerns and functionality glitches that plagued Google Glass. At the very least, though, they look way cooler.

Ray-Ban Stories are available via Ray-Ban's site, physical stores, and Luxottica retail outposts (SunglassHut, LensCrafters, and so on) for $299.

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