The Truth About Rayban Stories: Why Don’t They Catch It?

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 hit the market, digitally powered glasses have been thrust into the spotlight. Whether you choose Google Glass or Meta’s VR Quest headset, technology-driven eyewear sales will increase 3.9 million units in 2024.

This brings us to one of the newest digital hybrids on the market, Ray-Ban Stories. Produced in collaboration with Meta, the world’s largest fashion eyewear company has been dipping its toes into digitally infused eyewear for the past few years.

But while AR has become a hot topic all over the web, no one seems to have heard of Rayban’s newest release. From privacy concerns to price, let’s take a closer look at why these specs underperform.

Introduction to Ray-Ban stories

First published in September 2021, Ray-Ban stories has been on the market for well over a year and has not yet achieved the same profit level as the industry favourite, Google Glass.

Although not marketed as an AR-powered product, they have become the first generation of smart sunglasses that aim to keep you connected when you’re on the go. Equipped with a dual-speed camera, discrete audiology and touch controls, Ray-Ban stories bring your phone to your glasses, making it easier to connect to social media on the go.

Coming in 3 different styles, these fashionable glasses should be the whole range. Let’s jump into the specifications of these glasses.

The specification

Ray-Ban Stories promise hours of wear, meaning they’re great for day trips and especially for travelers who want to capture the action from a first-person perspective.

Weighing just 49 grams, these specs are incredibly light and easy to store in a portable charging case.

The two cameras shoot 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 Spectacleswhich was published two years earlier.

Ray-Ban Stories’ most exciting feature, however, is its ability to connect to Facebook. Working with Meta, the smart glasses are able to edit footage and create a Facebook post before sharing directly to the social media platform.

Why have sales fallen flat?

Although the specifications sound exciting, sales of Ray-Ban stories have almost come to a standstill. While their traditional specs have brought in billions, stores seem to be a line less touched.

From privacy issues to Meta’s poor history when it comes to marketing a product, here are some of the reasons why Ray-Ban’s latest invention hasn’t caught on.

Privacy concerns

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 product’s downfall.

By making elements like the camera almost invisible, there have been many privacy concerns from the public.

“Unlike the spinning bright white ring that surrounds the glasses’ camera, the recording light on the new Ray-Ban Stories is extremely small and easy to miss outdoors. You could easily cover it with a small black sticker and invade someone’s privacy somewhere , where cameras wouldn’t normally be allowed,” comments Forbes writer Anshel Sag.

Although it is not illegal to record third parties with smartphones and cameras, the added element of non-disclosure has been a problem, according to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC).

“With the glasses, there is a very small indicator light that turns on when recording. It has not been demonstrated to DPC and Garante that extensive field testing was conducted by Facebook or Ray-Ban to ensure that the LED indicator 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 may also give us a clue as to why Ray-Ban’s stories have fallen flat.

While they are famous for their success Meta Quest 2 VR headsetmany of their other visions have fallen by the wayside as they simply don’t speak to their VR-focused audience.

Do you have e.g. heard about Meta’s Vido Communication Display Project Portal? Launched in 2018, this device has barely hit the market.

If we compare the success of Ray-Ban Stories with Apple Airpods Max, you can see several people strolling down the street wearing Airpods, but Ray-Ban Stories is yet to be discovered. This just goes to show that while Meta has mastered the art of software marketing, their hardware marketing needs some work.

The price

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 a lot, especially when users can buy a fully-fledged VR Quest headset for just an extra £20.

Before you make your next eyewear decision, why not browse all your favorite brands in one place – find it here.

If you’re looking to update your specs, Ray-Ban Stories can be an expensive investment or a waste of money, depending on how much you love Facebook. Can they be a hit in 2023? Time will tell.

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