Sunday, April 14

Meta’s smart glasses: The future is here…?

Credit: Meta

Meta’s smart glasses aren’t named “Stories” any longer. These days, they are simply known as smart glasses. The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses are the technical name for the new model Meta just announced, and the firm will gladly correct you if you call them anything else, but they are just smart glasses. No ifs, ands, or strange names attached to it.

The new glasses, which Meta just unveiled at its Connect launch event, are available for preorder now and will go on sale starting on October 17 for $299. They serve two main functions. The first is to swap out your headphones for the smart glasses, which have a similar personal audio system to the Bose Tempo series and Amazon’s Echo Frames, which all play music but work to ensure that only you can hear it. With the new generation of glasses, Meta also significantly improved the microphone system. The eyewear has five microphones, including one in the nasal bridge, which should greatly improve the clarity of your voice commands and phone calls. (The Stories only had one mic, and it kind of fell apart in loud or windy conditions.)

Credit: Meta

The glasses can also be used as a camera. The smart glasses, like the Stories, feature microscopic camera lenses on each right temple, but these cameras take 12-megapixel photographs and 1080p movies, both of which are significant improvements over the previous version. Before the 32GB of internal storage is full, you can store approximately 500 photographs and 100 30-second films (the maximum duration the glasses allow), and everything syncs via the Meta View app. Additionally, you can use the app to rapidly share anything you capture to one of Meta’s countless sharing platforms.

You can now start a livestream to Facebook or Instagram with just a couple of touches on the stem of the glasses, in addition to taking photographs and movies with the camera. A white light that surrounds the lens pulses to show that you are filming.

The addition of livestreaming exacerbates several of the product’s already major privacy concerns. It’s also one of Meta’s attempts to answer the major issue about smart glasses: what do you do with them? According to reports, Meta struggled to keep people engaged in wearing their Stories, with more than 90 percent of buyers eventually abandoning their devices.

Credit: Meta

Meta and Ray-Ban created the smart glasses in a variety of different hues, including “matte jeans” and “caramel,” as well as multiple lens options. In addition to the traditional Wayfarer, the two companies have developed a new, rounder form dubbed Headliner.

Everything is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 CPU, which the company claims has “on-glass AI” in a sub-one-watt package. According to Meta, the smart glasses’ battery life should be between four and six hours when being actively used. (And once they’re dead, they’re just glasses.) The smart glasses can be charged eight more times using the provided case.

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