Smart glasses are nothing new, in fact, they have been around for a long time. But over the years, companies have been improving it, or at least trying to make it mainstream. Meta is one company trying to do this, and I decided to give it a try Ray-Ban Meta sunglasses Try to see if there is any benefit to having smart glasses.
Meta’s first smart glasses were announced in 2021, when the company was still called Facebook. In partnership with Ray-Ban, both companies presented Ray-Ban Stories. The glasses look like regular Ray-Ban glasses, but are equipped with cameras capable of taking photos and video clips with sound. They also have built-in speakers so they work like headphones.
Ray-Ban Stories received a lot of attention when they were announced, but were not a huge success. Battery life wasn’t great, and the 5-megapixel camera was a bit disappointing.
Two years later, Ray-Ban Stories got a major upgrade, now under the name Ray-Ban Meta. They’re still very similar to regular Ray-Ban sunglasses, but this time with much better hardware. I’ve been using the Ray-Ban Meta for a few weeks now and here are my thoughts on it.
The glasses come in packaging similar to other Ray-Ban glasses. Once opened, you find the glasses inside a leather case that looks very elegant. This case works like an AirPods case, recharging the glasses’ battery while you’re inside.
There is no magic pairing as users need to download the Meta View app to set up the Ray-Ban Meta, but the whole process is very simple. An interesting detail is that the glasses work with a Meta account, so you don’t necessarily need to have a Facebook or Instagram account to use them.
After you set up the Ray-Ban Meta for the first time, it automatically pairs with your phone when you’re out of the case, so there’s no need to go into your Bluetooth settings or open the Meta app every time. Naturally, the app is required to change settings, install firmware updates, and transfer data from the glasses to the phone.
To me, the coolest thing about the Ray-Ban Meta is that they look like regular sunglasses. There are more ambitious products like the Meta Quest headphones and even the Apple Vision Pro, but I still can’t imagine myself using these headphones outdoors.
These products have completely different purposes, and the whole idea of Ray-Ban Meta is to be glasses you can wear all day, anywhere.
It doesn’t look like a futuristic piece of technology and doesn’t catch most people’s attention. In fact, most of my friends had no idea I wore smart glasses. That can be good and bad, but I’ll talk about that later. The glasses are also very light, so you really forget you’re wearing something with cameras, microphones, and speakers inside.
It’s supposed to be fun
Ray-Ban Meta glasses are clearly not focused on productivity or anything like that. It’s supposed to be fun. When I bought it, I was on vacation in Europe. I usually take photos and videos with my iPhone, it has a phenomenal camera. But there are some moments that happen so quickly that you don’t have enough time to take your phone out of your pocket.
That’s where Ray-Ban Meta comes in, because it’s already on your face, ready to use. With the tap of a button on the right torso, you can take a photo of what you’re looking at. Press the button for a few seconds and then it takes a video.
The best part is that the quality of the cameras has become much better. The photo still isn’t as good as smartphone cameras, but it’s good enough to post to Instagram Stories. The 12MP ultra-wide lens does a good job of taking photos, even when there’s high light contrast, and 1080p videos look good too.
There are some downsides, though. Taking photos and videos in low-light environments is still a challenge – and that’s no surprise. I also noticed that images can easily become shaky if you simply hold the button while moving. When it comes to videos, it only captures them vertically, not horizontally.
In addition to serving as a camera, the Ray-Ban Meta glasses also come with a few other tricks. Built-in speakers and microphones allow users to listen to songs and even make phone calls while wearing the glasses. The quality is far from perfect, but it works well in some situations.
Meta says that the speakers in this new generation are much better. I was surprised at how clean the sound was. What’s more, it’s stereo and the speakers are arranged so that the sound sounds like it’s coming from regular headphones. Unfortunately, the bass is almost non-existent here, making the experience disappointing for serious media consumption.
However, I love listening to songs, podcasts, or voice messages with the Ray-Ban Meta when I’m in an Uber or at the supermarket. I know this is subjective, but earbuds like AirPods make me feel like I’m cut off from the world — and when I see someone wearing headphones, I usually assume they don’t want to talk.
Having something that plays sound directly into your ears but doesn’t isolate you from the world is really interesting in certain moments. By the way, the microphones are very good.
Users can control Ray-Ban Meta glasses through touch gestures, such as moving their finger to raise or lower the volume, and tap to play or pause. The glasses also have some basic voice commands for taking photos and videos. Soon, Meta will launch an AI-based assistant that will be integrated with the camera – it looks really promising.
By default, transferring media from glasses to phone requires opening the Meta app each time. However, the process takes no more than a few seconds and the photos are automatically imported into the user’s photo library.
As for the battery, Meta says it lasts up to 4 hours out of the box. The company claims that users can get up to 36 hours of battery life when placing the glasses in the case. I personally never spent more than 4 hours wearing the glasses, so that’s good enough for me.
It is contained
Once again, the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses aren’t focused on productivity. Instead, they want to help users quickly capture great moments and share them on social networks. And they do it very well. Sometimes it’s better to just look at something and press a button to take a photo of it instead of taking my iPhone out of my pocket.
There are some concerns, of course. We’re talking about a product from Meta, which is known for not taking privacy seriously. Also, since these glasses look like regular glasses, people can use them to pick up things they shouldn’t. There are LEDs to indicate that the camera is on, but most people won’t notice them.
I don’t think Ray-Ban Meta glasses are revolutionary and will change my life. However, they are very useful in some situations, and that makes me excited to see what other wearable tech we’ll see in the future.
in the United States, The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are priced at $329. There are different models available – and you can even customize them with prescription lenses.
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