September 9th Facebook entered a new market releasing its first physical product, Smart sunglasses. The company collaborated with Ray Bands, a widely known and adored eyeglass brand. Taking videos and pictures at eye level, listening to music and answering phone calls hands free are just some of the attractive features of the new wearable smart eyewear. The technology features technology from Oculus, an augmented reality company Facebook bought, back in March 2014. The price point is relatively low given the expansive technology starting at $299. Facebook is not the first company to bring smart sunglasses to popular consumption. Google was the first to launch Google Glass back in 2013, with Snapchat following Snap’s Spectacles in 2016. Both brands lacked pairing technology with wearability.Almost a decade later Facebook is expanding its brand to fit the digital timeline heading to become a metaverse company that specializes in the human experience in terms of the social and augmented realities. Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook, elaborated on the brand shift in focus as, “Creation, avatars, and digital objects are going to be central to how we express ourselves, and this is going to lead to entirely new experiences and economic opportunities.”
Zuckerberg’s next endeavors seek to bring augmented reality to the experience of the glasses allowing you to play games and video chat with someone digital copy. Critics have raised concerns talking about its intrusive video ability which lacks a signal of consent from social cues. A smaller critique of the smart sunglasses was the experience of listening to music felt quite awkward and almost distant from the New York Time article Smart Glasses Made Google Look Dumb. Now Facebook Is Giving Them a Try by Mike Isaac. It will be interesting to see how the smart sunglasses do with the holiday season quickly approaching.