Around this time in 2021, Meta teamed up with Ray-Ban to announce Snapchat Spectacles-wannabe. Not surprisingly, Meta’s smart glasses weren’t as popular as the company had hoped, especially after privacy concerns started to pop up.
Still, it seems that Meta isn’t giving up as easily. During this year’s Meta Connect conference, the company announced new and improved camera glasses. And again, they come in several recognizable Ray-Ban shapes.
According to a recent report, the original Ray-Ban Stories didn’t quite catch on. Meta reportedly sold only slightly over one-third of the internal 300,000-unit goal. To make things worse, around 90% of owners had already abandoned the hardware, according to the same report. But hey, Meta still thinks it’s time for the take two. They’ve added some improvements over the previous model, hoping for more creations, streams, and, obviously, more buyers.
Meta emphasizes that the new Ray-Ban | Meta smart glasses feature newly designed speakers with extended bass and higher maximum volume. Improved directional audio reduces audio leakage, allowing for improved calls, music, and podcasts even in noisy or windy environments. The newly designed five-microphone array supports immersive audio recording. The glasses take your voice commands, so you can order them to send a photo or say “Hey Meta” to engage with Meta AI.
Enhanced camera features
The new smart glasses from Meta feature a new ultra-wide 12 MP camera and two lenses. You can take 1080p videos up to 60 seconds. You can also stream what you’re seeing directly to, of course, Instagram and Facebook.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon AR1 Gen1 Platform powers the glasses. This promises “higher quality photo and video processing and even faster compute,” according to Meta. While streaming, you can see the comments in your preview or tap and hold on the side of your glasses to hear them out loud.
Style and build
The new Ray-Ban | Meta smart glasses come in Wayfarer style and a new Headliner design. Frame colors include Matte Black, Shiny Black, Jeans, Rebel Black, and Caramel, with over 150 different custom frame and lens combinations available on the Ray-Ban Remix platform. You can also make them compatible to your prescription lenses. They’re lighter and slimmer than the previous version, and they’re also water-resistant (IPX4).
Price and availability:
The price of the Ray-Ban | Meta smart glasses starts at $299 USD, and depends on the style and combinations you use. They’re currently available for pre-order on Ray-Ban’s website, and retail availability is set to start on October 17, 2023.