Why Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses Wasn’t Picked Up A Year After Its Launch – Quartz

To the casual observer, Meta Ray ban stories Wayfarer smart glasses look almost identical to a popular pair of fashionable Wayfarer sunglasses, a model made famous by the likes of Hollywood legends James Dean and Tom Cruise.

Nothing in the product indicates that it has the ability to take photos and videos, and that it is equipped with microphones and speakers that allow the wearer to listen to music, podcasts, or Even receiving phone calls.

Perhaps this is part of the problem. By making Ray-Ban Stories look very natural, the company has inadvertently made its product largely invisible.

Ray-Ban Stories came out a year ago, with social media-friendly sharing technology built into three different frame styles. But you’ll still have a hard time finding people wearing smart glasses or discovering the many video and photo posts that have been tagged as Ray-Ban Stories.

Why can’t Meta promote smart glasses based on Wayfarer, the most famous sunglasses in history?

When Google released a file Google glasses Smart glasses in 2013, the public reacted almost uniformly negative, mostly due to their strange appearance. Since then, smart glasses makers have sought to create wearables that look a lot like regular glasses, but with augmented reality (AR) features that some experts still see at least. few years far.

While Ray-Ban Stories don’t offer augmented reality functionality, bringing simple notifications, photo-taking and audio technology into a classic setting is an achievement, bringing the industry one step closer to advanced smart glasses in normal mode. Dream Frames.

However, Ray-Ban stories haven’t spread – and the Meta doesn’t seem to mind. When a Meta spokesperson was asked about Ray-Ban Stories sales, he told Quartz, “We’re not disclosing sales information, but we’re very happy to receive users so far.”

Meta history may offer clue as to why smart glasses sales have stalled

The Meta’s most successful hardware product, the Meta Quest 2, is built on the early work of Oculus, which was founded by Palmer Lokiand any Meta, which was known at the time as Facebook, Buyer In 2014. Oculus already had a passionate user base of virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts who later helped fuel the growth of the platform.

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wears the next version of the company’s Quest virtual reality headset.

Contrast this with a truly original commercially available Meta hardware product and just note: it’s called Video Communication Display outlet. Launched in 2018, the device hasn’t garnered as much consumer attention as the Meta VR product, but the company continues to produce new and improved versions of it.

Meta Ray-Ban Stories vs Apple AirPods Max: A Marketing Lesson

In April, Ray-Ban Stories won the prestigious award iF Design Award Along with Apple AirPods Max headphones. You can find everyone from trendy fashion trendsetter to Wall Street analysts wearing Apple’s latest mobile products, but Meta Ray-Ban Stories seem to be Rare on the streets of most major cities.

Hardware and software seem to require different marketing competencies. Meta has excelled at selling and developing its software platforms – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – but when it comes to mobile devices, the company’s ability to enroll billions of users has so far been weak.

On the other hand, Apple knows how to sell devices

Meta’s lack of a successful product is one reason why there is so much interest in what will happen when Apple enters the smart glasses market.

Apple has spent decades perfecting its ability to sell mobile devices, first with Newton In 1993 then the iPhone started in 2007. Even mobile devices that the public didn’t think they wanted at first, like the Apple Watch and AirPods, became Commodity for consumer technology.

On the contrary, Apple has not yet been able to replicate Meta’s skill in developing adhesive social media software. Apple’s Failed Social Network Name pingwhich was launched in 2010 and remains one of the company’s biggest mistakes.

Mobile devices are Apple’s strong suit. Had the tech company partnered with Ray-Ban on a pair of smart glasses, rather than the Meta, it’s hard to imagine that the product wouldn’t be on the faces of millions of consumers right now.

Meta had the right idea of ​​avoiding the crap of earlier smart-glass design and erring on the side of established coolness. But it over-corrected by assuming that 2021-2022 mobile users would discover and adopt such intelligently integrated technology very early in the history of smart glasses.

Perhaps something as simple as a distinctive colorful design element, or a prominent new logo has gone a long way toward alerting onlookers that someone is wearing the company’s clothing. $300 smart glasses And not an ordinary $163 pair of Wayfarers that aren’t brimming with tech.

Scott Grace

Actress Mischa Barton (right) wears the Wayfarers to a Ray-Ban event in 2006.

Brand awareness is an essential part of product penetration. It’s hard to ask “what are these?” if those It is mostly indistinguishable from the design that has been around for nearly 70 years.

As it stands, Ray-Ban Stories are the coolest and most user-friendly (though still relatively affordable) eyeglasses on the market that hardly anyone knows about.

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A model wears a Wayfarer version of Ray-Ban Stories.

There is still a chance Meta will collaborate with Ray-Ban for success. On August 29, T-Mobile announce You’ll start carrying Ray-Ban Stories in their stores and online. The pairing makes sense—the cell phone company sells plenty of other mobile accessories—but avoiding customer confusion will be key. Unlike the Apple Watch, which offers its own cellular option, Ray-Ban Stories must be linked to a smartphone to connect, so users will still need a separate smartphone with a wireless plan.

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