All Your Face Are Belong to Facebook
I once met the head of a design firm for lunch. As we headed out, he showed me what had just arrived in the mail for him. He was pretty excited about the pen with its built-in camera. He took it with us as we walked to the restaurant, looking around for what to photograph. I think he began to realize that pointing a pen repeatedly at people was a bit weird-looking. During lunch, the pen rested awkwardly between us.
Google Glasses failed. Snapshat Spectacles failed. And now Facebook has its surveillance technology built into Ray-Ban brand sunglasses. "Miniaturization is so crazy. These glasses have two cameras, a battery, three microphones, two speakers and bluetooth, and weigh *five grams* more than a regular pair of Ray-Bans," reports Tom Gara (@tomgara).
Here are the best reactions to the new product, which, it seems to me, is destined to become as popular as 3D TV.
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Steve Kovach (@stevekovach): Facebook loves to copy everything Snapchat does. This time it's glasses, 5 years after Snap did it.
Katie Notopoulos (BuzzFeed News): Facebook Is Making Camera Glasses, Ha Ha Oh No.
They have an LED warning light so that bystanders know you are taking a video. I taped it over. A FB exec told me this is a violation of the terms of service of the glasses (oops).
Sebastiaan de With (@sdw): I am shocked, absolutely shocked that such a privacy-respecting company culture like Facebook's would produce a wearable camera product that feels like an almost dystopian-creepy invasion of privacy.
Joshua Benton (@jbenton): I don't get why Facebook wouldn't brand these as either Instagram or Oculus glasses, both brands that lack most of FB's brand baggage around privacy and everything icky.
@rmac18: So the privacy expert that Facebook is having defend its new Wearable Glasses works for an organization that is funded by Facebook.
Facebook sent reporters covering their glasses launch a list of supposed “third-party” privacy and consumer groups that it consulted for the product. So I did some digging. FB funds at least 4 of the 5 groups. Future of Privacy Forum is one. It also shows the breadth of Facebook's influence over nonprofits that rely on donations.
Yves Adele Fartlow (@vogon): It's very silly to me that people think that the audience for the facebook ray-bans is going to be the same as the audience for google glass, like nah it's going to be an entirely different group of people with no respect for other people's boundaries
Andrew Losowsky (@losowsky): Remember that whole thing where Google Street View cars were passively scraping everyone's wifi information? Imagine that but Facebook with all of our faces and locations.
@pinboard: I'm guessing they've got Scoble duct taped to the floor of a Facebook van somewhere, so you can't say this product is 100% bad.
James Vincent (@jjvincent): There's been some comment on how basic the functionality of Facebook's glasses are — no AR, no assistant, etc. But that's on purpose, because the main feature of these things is getting the public used to the idea of everyone constantly wearing cameras.
Alex Kantrowitz (@kantrowitz): My review of the Facebook Glasses: Nope