Meta’s Ray-Ban Smart Glasses Are Not Getting Much Interest

 Less than 10% of purchased gadgets are used on a monthly basis, thus the company aims to release a second generation.

According to internal business statistics, Meta Platforms' Ray-Ban smart glasses have had a difficult time gaining traction with owners, many of whom appear to use them seldom.

photo credit: Meta

According to a business document from February that The Wall Street Journal reviewed, less than 10% of the Ray-Ban Stories bought since the product's inception in September 2021 have been actively used by buyers. Meta META -2.60% decline; the company only had roughly 27,000 monthly active users after selling 300,000 of the wearable technology through February. 

Among other capabilities, the device, which is a crucial element of Meta's hardware strategy, enables users to shoot pictures and play music through the frames of their glasses. The document states that the return rate has been 13%.

According to the document, connectivity issues, issues with some hardware features, such as battery life, the inability for users to import media from the devices, issues with the product's audio, and issues with voice commands for the smart glasses were among the main causes of a bad user experience. 

Speaking about the document, a Meta spokeswoman declined to comment.

According to persons acquainted with the situation, Meta is still planning to introduce the second version of its Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses either in the autumn to coincide with the Christmas shopping season or next spring.

The manufacturers and retailers of different types of eyewear, including Ray-Ban and Oakley brands, EssilorLuxottica, and Essilor, Inc., collaborated on the development of the smart glasses. EssilorLuxottica's representative declined to comment. 

For Meta's Reality Labs division, which has accrued an operating deficit of around $8 billion in the first half of 2023 and is anticipated to see its operating loss expand significantly in 2024, The Ray-Ban Stories represents one of the most significant partnerships. 

As part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's ambition to create the metaverse, a version of the internet where users can interact with one another in real-time, virtual places, the business unveiled the first prototype of the device roughly a month before changing its name from Facebook to Meta. Even Google, which stopped producing its Google Glass product, has struggled to produce smart eyewear.

Similar to the present version, the next one is anticipated to lack capabilities that fall under the umbrella of augmented reality, which enables wearable technology to project or overlay content onto what a person is viewing in the real world.

Executives at Meta, however, regard the Stories gadget as a forerunner to the augmented reality spectacles that the company plans to introduce in the ensuing years. At a June event, Apple just unveiled its Vision Pro AR headset. In order to establish itself as a dominating player in what may turn out to be the next significant computing platform to emerge, Zuckerberg and other corporate executives have stated that Meta's work in this area is crucial.

According to those with knowledge of the situation, the second generation of Ray-Ban Stories will have better cameras and a longer battery life, and it will be compatible with more frame models. Three Ray-Ban models presently provide the smart-glasses technology. 

The Ray-Ban Stories of the first generation cost $299. On the Ray-Ban website, two variations of the spectacles are presently marked down by 30%. The cost of the second generation of the product cannot be predicted. 

According to the document, Meta wants to enhance the device's functionality and how people find out about it. The document reveals that the social media behemoth set a target of keeping the app used with the smart glasses' ratings at 4.0 or above on Apple's App Store or Google's Play Store. 

Facebook View is a mobile application that is currently rated 4.5 on the Apple App Store and 4.4 on the Google Play Store. 

For the duration of Ray-Ban Stories, Meta targeted sales of 478,000 units. A different projection in the document predicts sales of 394,000 units, which is a lower number.

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