How the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Are Changing the Game

Wearable tech has come a long way since the introduction of fitness trackers and smartwatches. Though they first began as supplemental tools that could simply tell you the time and count your steps, smart wearables like the Xiaomi Hey Plus smartwatch have now evolved to track sleep quality and monitor your heart rate 24/7, with a battery life lasting up to 29 days.

But smart wearables aren’t limited to just watches, and the market has now expanded to include a greater variety of smart tech. Among these new technologies promising to streamline our everyday lives are the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. Let’s take a closer look at how this new gadget is changing the game.

The fruit of a long-standing partnership

Smart glasses aren’t a new phenomenon. In fact, this isn’t even the first time that Ray-Ban or Meta have experimented with the concept of smart glasses. A few years back, in 2021, Ray-Ban and Meta (formerly Facebook) collaborated to introduce Ray-Ban Stories. Modeled to look like a regular pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, the first iteration was capable of taking hands-free photos and videos. The smart glasses also featured open-ear audio and microphones, allowing users to listen to music or take calls on the go.

Understanding User Frustration with Ads

Ray-Ban Stories did not make as big of an impact as the companies had hoped, with tech enthusiasts pointing to issues like poor connectivity and short battery life. Nevertheless, its launch marked a significant milestone in the evolution of wearable tech, and Ray-Ban and Meta continued to work behind the scenes to make improvements.

A welcome refresh

It didn’t take very long for the two industry titans to fine-tune their product, unveiling a second generation of smart glasses called the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses in 2023. Building on its previous model, the new version comes with an enhanced 12MP camera, better speakers, and a five-microphone system. However, the most exciting feature is Meta AI, an integrated voice-activated artificial intelligence assistant that can provide hands-free help.

In terms of its look, both companies took note of how consumers were more open to the idea of smart glasses that are nearly indistinguishable from your typical Ray-Ban sunglasses, sticking to well-loved styles like the Wayfarer and Headliner. Blending form and functionality, the smart glasses also have similar protective features as regular sunglasses, such as Ray-Ban’s Classic G15 lens treatment that blocks 85% of visible light for visual clarity. The smart glasses, as well as regular sunglasses and glasses, are available through online retailer Sunglass Hut and Ray-Ban stores.

Updates on the horizon

As of writing, Meta is continuing to roll out regular software updates for the smart glasses. Most recently, Version 2.0 is expected to boost image and audio quality, including low-light performance upgrades, noise reduction, and auto exposure for sharper photos. Many users are also eagerly anticipating the full release of the Look and Ask AI recognition tools, which have so far been limited to US beta users.

The AI recognition abilities of the smart glasses were among the features spotlighted during Meta’s launch presentation at Meta Connect 2023. Using the glasses’ camera, Meta AI can scan a user’s environment to respond to questions, a sort of combination of the capabilities of Google Lens and ChatGPT. This could potentially allow users to ask questions regarding ingredients in a dish, translate foreign text, identify plants, and more.

From virtual assistants to hands-free communication, wearable tech has indeed come a long way since its inception. The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses exemplify the growing capacity of smart technology, offering users a glimpse into a future where connectivity and convenience converge seamlessly.

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