we tried the Meta connected glasses, weird but perfect

After Google Glassthey Performances from Snapchat, Meta (the Facebook group), in collaboration with Ray-Ban is entering the world of connected glasses with Stories. A range of smart sunglasses that includes three emblematic models of the brand: Wayfarer, Round and Meteor. The accessory is intended as a way to capture videos and photos in one motion, with the idea of ​​capturing what the user “sees” every day. The height of chic, each pair is available in several different lens colors and tints. If the aesthetics are there, what about the technological skills?

First observation, the electronic equipment is careful, only two small 5 megapixel cameras fixed on the mount suggest additional features. The one on the right captures and records, while the one on the left takes care of capturing the depth of the image. The electronic system is hidden in the branches, which are slightly thicker than the classic models, without weighing down the frame.

Each model has two 5 megapixel cameras for immersive photos and videos.  (Ray Ban)

Once activated using the ignition button hidden inside the right temple, the Stories must be paired with a mobile phone, using the app Facebook View. The smartphone must be at least Android version 8.1 or higher. On the Apple device side, the application is compatible from the 6S model and the iOS 13 version. Each synchronization step is explained step by step in a tutorial and takes on average a few minutes. For our part, the test performed on an iPhone required us to remove it twice before the connection was established. Be careful, even if it seems obvious, you need to have a Facebook or Instagram account first to connect the glasses.

Once the connection is established, the download can begin. Nose glasses, just press the button above the right temple to start the video. A small sound warns to start recording. Initially limited to 30 seconds, the duration has been extended to 60 seconds thanks to the latest update. To take a photo, it’s the same motion but keeping pressure on the control. Finally, activate the assistant using the phrase “Hey, Facebook, take a video/photo”, to start hands-free capture.

From the outside, a white diode lights up above the right camera, to show people around that they are being filmed or photographed. One way according to the manufacturer to avoid Stories to be used to film people without their knowledge, but it is clear that in reality the light remains difficult to see from a distance.

The Facebook View application makes it possible to save videos captured on glasses and to share them in Meta networks.  (Ray-Ban/Meta)

But to share your most beautiful shots, transferring the data stored in the glasses to the application Facebook View a mandatory step. Not much rocket science, the application identifies the number of files available for download in the 4 GB memory of a pair of sunglasses. The user confirms the import and in a few moments the files can be consulted on the smartphone. The software offers some options for creating small montages automatically or by hand, to be exposed to some filters that should be increased in future updates. Finally, your content can be shared on Meta group networks (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) or downloaded to the phone’s internal memory.

6 hours of autonomy on the glasses with moderate use means you are not dependent on the battery for the whole day. If necessary, they can be recharged using the provided case, like wireless headphones. the Stories also allows you to enjoy sound content thanks to two speakers on the back of the temples. A reservation option for listening to messages received on Messenger and WhatsApp (the feature is available in English) or even to answer short calls. Unfortunately, the sound lacks bass and the ambient noise is not as quiet as in-ear headphones. To manage the volume and the controls, the dish on the right branch can be touched and reacts by tapping or sliding according to the desired purpose.

Ray-Ban/Meta

If it should be recognized that the use of glasses is more fluid in general, some defects should be emphasized in the quality of the pictures. The first, the absence of an integrated stabilizer, you need to be careful to keep your head steady to avoid a shaky video and be careful with long hair that can easily end up in the frame. The second, the sound quality of the videos. It is satisfactory but below the latest phones available in the market. Another bad point for connected glasses is that they are not splashproof, which greatly reduces their use as everyday sunglasses. Not good for a pair whose prices start at 329 euros and go up to 409 euros for transfer lenses.

Music video by artist Burna Boy made with Ray-Ban Stories

In general, the Stories remains a fun gadget that combines aesthetics and technology. The Meta group warns: these glasses are only the “first step” towards the metaverse, an ultra-immersive virtual universe that the group intends to continue developing. Perhaps we should expect to see the release of new generations of connected glasses in the coming years, including a space leading to this new, still mysterious world.

Connected glasses Ray-Ban Storiesfrom 329 to 409 euros.

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