Ray Ban Stories: Meta's First Journey Into Digital Wearables - Digital Ratha
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Ray Ban Stories: Meta's First Journey Into Digital Wearables

Ray Ban Stories: Meta’s First Journey Into Digital Wearables

Do you know Meta is entering the digital wearables space through Ray Ban?

Meta continues to build for the next phase of digital connection in the metaverse. It is also focusing on all the new AI-based bets right now.

It is also establishing its complete roadmap for its AR and wearables that will increase your worldview with the help of digital elements.

Meta also claims to be a part of its broader metaverse vision. But in reality, the metaverse in VR and AR is a whole different thing.

It does not matter how Meta tries to blend the two to claim overall tech sector leadership.

Meta’s big hope in AR is its AR glasses. These AR glasses are currently scheduled for launch in 2027.

It has already released its first glasses model in Ray Ban Stories to acclimate the market for that next stage—meta attempts to create a fashionable digital device that provides some connective functionality.

But thus far, they have not been a hit. Will they?

The news report from The Verge states that over 90% of Ray-Ban Stories users have stopped using the device since buying the glasses.

The Verge further states that internal company documents have revealed that around 27,000 of the 300,000 units reportedly sold between September 2021 and February 2023 are still being regularly used monthly.

Last April, Meta was reported to have sold just 120,000 pairs of the Ray-Ban Stories. It is less than half of its 300,000 goal at that time.

So of the 300,000 pairs sold, only a fraction are still seeing regular use, with the limited feature set.

The device and glasses enable you to take pictures, listen to music, answer phone calls, and do much more. It needs to catch up with a broad audience, as expected.

It is not surprising. In 2016, Snapchat released the first iteration of its Spectacles camera-equipped sunglasses. These sunglasses are functionally very similar to Meta’s Ray Ban Stories device.

And no one cared.

Well, it is not entirely correct. Snap did see a rush of early sales hype. It led to it moving over 150k units. But it also overestimated demand, which left the app with “hundreds of thousands” of unsold Spectacles sitting in warehouses a year after launch.

This initial miscalculation ended up costing Snap over $40 million in losses. It suggests that around 300k Spectacles were never sold in that initial production run.

Yet Snap is still selling them and still sticking with the concept. It is pointing to a future iteration of the glasses that will be fully AR-equipped.

So, Snap has reportedly been forced to rethink some of its future AR plans due to rising costs and lower ad intake.

Meta has also scaled back its AR timeline through cost-cutting and production missteps. Its acquisition of micro LED maker Plessey failed to deliver the advance it hoped to get for its AR device.

Yet both Snap and Meta have functional versions of their AR glasses in testing. It is already in the hands of external users for initial experiments.

They still need to be polished and are still being prepared for the next level of full commercial availability. But both companies are working on the next stage. It will put digital overlays onto your real-world view.

That’s why knowing what to take away from the initial response to Ray Ban Stories is hard.

It is an exciting project, but it also seems unlikely that Meta would expect huge sales from this first process of the device. It is not a major functional leap over others in the market.

Technically, they are a lot more advanced. But, regarding what you can do with them, they are not far beyond what spectacles have long provided.

So I don’t know if Meta was really trying to push these as a significant offering or if it would always be just the first minor step in a longer AR development pipeline.

Meta needed to build a production pipeline and establish partnerships for the future. Ray-Ban Stories is just the early precursor to what comes next.

Indeed, The Verge notes that despite all these losses, Meta plans to release a second-generation version of Ray-Ban Stories next year. Hence, it continues to move towards the AR future.

So while its initial foray into digitally-equipped glasses has yet to catch, Meta sees this as a necessary stepping stone for that next stage.

You can click here for more updates on Meta and all other prominent social media platforms.

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