SAN FRANCISCO — Last Saturday, after a three-mile hike through the Presidio, I stood in a throng of tourists looking at the Golden Gate Bridge. As the crowd snapped photos of the landmark, I decided to join in.
But instead of reaching into my pocket for my iPhone, I tapped the side of my Ray-Ban sunglasses until I heard the click of a shutter. Later, I downloaded the photos that my sunglasses had just taken to my phone.
The process was instant, simple, unobtrusive — and it was powered by Facebook, which has teamed up with Ray-Ban. Their new line of eyewear, called Wayfarer Stories and unveiled on Thursday, can take photos, record video, answer phone calls and play music and podcasts.
It all made me feel that I was being dragged into some inevitable future dreamed up by people much more techie than me, one in which the seams between the real world and the technology that supports it had all but vanished.
For years, Silicon Valley has chased a vision similar to that of a William Gibson novel, where sensors and cameras are woven into the everyday lives and clothes of billions of people. Yet the tech companies that have pursued these ideas have often failed to achieve them, as people have shunned wearable computers — especially on their faces.
Remember Google Glass, the smart glasses that the Google co-founder Sergey Brin introduced while jumping out of an airplane? That project foundered, with bars in San Francisco at one point barring Glass-wearers — also pejoratively…