The truth about Rayban Stories: Why aren’t they catching on?
Augmented reality has become a game changer in the modern world. From transforming healthcare innovation to giving us Pokémon GO, the market continues to double year after year.
As more AR-infused products fly onto the market, digitally powered eyewear has been thrown into the spotlight. Whether you opt for Google Glass or Meta’s VR Quest headset, tech-driven eyewear sales are set to rise to 3.9 million units by 2024.
This brings us to one of the newest digital hybrids on the market, Ray-Ban Stories. Produced in collaboration with Meta, the globe’s largest fashion eyewear company has dipped their toes into digitally-infused eyewear in the last few years.
However, while AR has become a popular topic all over the web, no one seems to have heard of Rayban’s newest release. From privacy concerns to the price, let’s have a closer look into why these specs are underperforming.
Introducing Ray-Ban Stories
First released in September 2021, Ray-Ban Stories has been on the market for well over a year and are yet to rake in the same level of profit as the industry favorite, Google Glass.
While they are not marketed as an AR-powered product, they have become the first generation of smart sunglasses that aim to keep you connected when on your travels. Equipped with a dual-speed camera, discrete audiology and touch control, Ray-Ban stories bring your phone to your spectacles, making it easier to connect with socials on the go.
Coming in 3 different styles, these fashionable eyeglasses should be all the range. Let’s jump into the spec of these spectacles.
Ray-Ban Stories promise hours of use, meaning they are great for day trips out and particularly for travellers that want to capture the action from a first-person perspective.
Weighing only 49 grams, these specs are incredibly light and easy to store in a portable charging case.
The two cameras capture 2592 x 1984-pixel images and 1184 x 1184 video at 30 fps, which is good but comes in just behind the third-generation Snap Spectacles, which were released two years prior.
Ray-Ban Stories’ most intriguing feature, however, is its ability to connect with Facebook. In collaboration with Meta, the smart glasses are able to edit captures and create a Facebook post before sharing directly to the social media platform.
Why have sales fallen flat?
While the spec sounds intriguing, sales of Ray-Ban’s Stories have all but fallen flat. While their traditional specs have brought in billions, Stores seem to be a line less touched.
From privacy concerns to Meta’s poor history when it comes to marketing a product, here are some of the reasons Ray-Ban’s newest invention hasn’t taken off.
While Ray-Ban’s goal was to make their Stories line appear as normal as possible, this fashion-focused feature has played a role in the downfall of the product.
Making elements such as the camera almost invisible, there have been many concerns of privacy from the public.
“Unlike the spinning bright white ring that encircles the Spectacles’ camera, the recording light on the new Ray-Ban Stories is extremely small and easy to miss outdoors. One could easily cover it with a small black sticker and violate someone’s privacy in a place where cameras would normally not be allowed,” comments Forbes author Anshel Sag.
While it is not illegal to record third-party individuals with smartphones and cameras, the added element of no disclosure has posed an issue, according to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC).
“With the glasses, there is a very small indicator light that comes on when recording is occurring. It has not been demonstrated to the DPC and Garante that comprehensive testing in the field was done by Facebook or Ray-Ban to ensure the indicator LED light is an effective means of giving notice,” The DPC stated in a recent interview.
Meta’s poor market history
Meta’s poor market history could also give us a clue as to why Ray-Ban’s Stories have fallen flat.
While they are famous for their successful Meta Quest 2 VR headset, many of their other visions have fallen to the gutter, as they simply don’t speak to their VR-focused audience.
For example, have you heard of Meta’s Vido communications display project portal? Launched in 2018, this device has barely hit the market.
If we compare the success of Ray-Ban Stories to Apple Airpods Max, you can see numerous people strolling down the street wearing Airpods, but Ray-Ban Stories are yet to be spotted. This just goes to show that while Meta has mastered the art of marketing software, their hardware marketing needs some work.
Last but not least, the price of Ray-Ban’s Stories has skyrocketed. Coming in at a hefty £299-£379 before prescription costs, Ray-Ban is asking for a lot, especially when users can purchase a fully-fledged VR Quest headset for just an extra £20.
Before you make your next decision on your eyeglasses, why not browse all of your favorite brands in one space – find it here.
If you’re looking to update your specs, Ray-Ban Stories could be a costly investment or a waste of money, depending on how much you love Facebook. Could they be a hit in 2023? Only time will tell.
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