Caroline Issa reviews the Facebook and Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer.

Ok, wait for it. A new, confounding, fascinating collaboration has just been fully realised. The Google Glass was a flop, the flurry of excitement about what wearable tech could mean (post Fitbit and Applewatch) was almost realised before it folded. So our ears perked we heard Facebook announce last year their partnership with Luxottica to create a new, smart accessory that might be a category game-changer. 

Lo and behold, today Ray-Ban – that festival favourite icon from the Luxottica stable – launches the Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer; a pair of sunglasses only five grams heavier than the traditional version yet able to video record, take still images, listen to your podcasts and answer your phones all with a swipe of the arm.

We tried it out over the last few days, privy to a pair sent to us ahead of the launch, and these videos are just some of the fun, exploratory ways of taking hands-free video. Think of unboxing videos without the faff of setting up a whole rig for you YouTubers out there, or videos from a rollercoaster ride where you need both hands firmly on the handles and you wouldn't be caught wearing a silly-looking Go-Pro!

To be fair, there are privacy issues that will be a challenge to overcome for both users and those captured on digital film. My seemingly innocent video approaching my colleague Sarya and her new Jimmy Choo bag might be deemed a little surreptitious, and yes, I did get her approval to use the footage. Plus, media doesn't download automatically from the glasses to your phone's companion Facebook View app, so you have to be proactive as to what gets downloaded. But the glasses are so subtle with their lenses, one will have to be mindful (like every spy story ever told), of what one says in the presence of a sunglasses wearer now! Lastly, for someone trying to keep the number of apps and charging devices down, you need to do both (download and charge the case) in order use the Ray-Ban Stories.

But as wearables become lighter, faster and more useful (I also answered my phone via my Wayfarers and listened to a podcast all through the arm by my ear!) it's one more step towards clothes that regulate temperature, trousers that massage you into being fit and being able to create feature films all while walking, sitting or chatting and pressing "record" on your sunglasses.

Ray-Ban Stories is available at Ray-Ban stores and from today and from Monday, September 13th it will be available at selected Sunglass Huts, for £299.00. They come in two styles and multiple colours, including prescription lenses.

Learn more HERE

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