We tested the smart glasses launched by Meta

Launched 6 months ago in the United States, Ray-Ban Stories connected glasses have yet to arrive in France. It’s over now! Reminiscent of the outdated Google Glass, these binoculars include cameras to render photos and videos to share on social networks, but not only that. To see if you can wear them on the tip of your nose all summer, they were tested by the editorial staff at “20 Minutes”.

First sunglasses

This is the Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer model we have been testing for several days. But connected glasses are also available in their Meteor and Round versions. Sold from 359 euros, they are the first and foremost sunglasses.

It includes speakers and a microphone to play music and take calls via Bluetooth from a smartphone. But most of all, they have two 5 megapixel cameras placed on each side of the glasses. On the one hand, they are reminiscent of Bose Frames glasses for listening to music and making phone calls, but also SnapChat Spectacles, for instant creation of Snaps.

Improved sound quality

Was this mixing successful? As much as he could. After recharging the glasses in their storage case using the integrated battery, Ray-Ban Stories needs to be paired with a smartphone via the Facebook View application. Then you can immediately enjoy the different functions of binoculars.

Ray-Ban Stories glasses launched by Meta. -META

In terms of sound, that’s not really the case. The loudspeakers located at each branch broadcast a sound at a relatively low volume and a loud, very loud voice. It may be enough to listen to a news flash on the radio, but not to discover a new album or listen to a playlist in good conditions.

Similarly, we set aside time for a brief phone conversation, but not in Ray-Ban Stories where we discuss election results over a friend’s phone. However, we tested the audio on these glasses while cycling and it was for us a safe solution… as long as there wasn’t a lot of noise around!

Respect privacy

Photo and video functions are powered by two cameras with 5 megapixel sensors (105 ° angles) located on each side of the glass lenses. A long press will trigger taking a photo; a short press will get a video of 60 seconds. Located on top of one of the two cameras, a white diode (visible up to 7 meters, according to Meta) indicates that the glasses are filming.

The indicator light indicates that Ray-Ban Stories is filming or taking a photo.
The indicator light indicates that Ray-Ban Stories is filming or taking a photo. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN/20 MINUTES

It is not certain that such a signal should be well understood and it is appropriate here to warn against all the abuses that may result from the use of these glasses. Watch out for privacy!

“Hey, Facebook Facebook! »

Fun: it’s possible to control the glasses by sound. A sentence that starts with “Hey, Facebook …” allows you to take a call, control your music and also take photos. “Hey, Facebook, take a picture! “. Not very clever, but it worked perfectly, as we found.

Ray-Ban Stories can store up to 500 photos (2592 x 1944 pixels) or 35 videos in 30 seconds (184 x 184 pixels, at 30 fps). When the Facebook View application is open, you can download your images to your smartphone, customize them and even create small dynamic montages (with some effects and music).

In the video, up to ten clips shortened to 3 seconds each can be narrated. Square and vertical formats are available. For their part, the tools on offer are reliable but still limited in number. Then it is possible to instantly share your creations on Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger, Meta entities. Which also leaves the possibility of saving his creature in his image stream to use it at will. That’s a good point.

Up to 7 hours of battery life

Upon arrival, we were a bit attracted to these very good glasses. Light (49 grams, versus 44 grams for the traditional Wayfarer), they don’t suffer from excrescences, as their branches swell with electronics might suggest. It is almost thicker and wider than the classic Ray-Ban. Suddenly, Ray-Ban Stories is first of all very good sunglasses, nice to wear And you can use them every day for the sole purpose of protecting your eyes. Or take care of your appearance! They are also compatible with corrective lenses.

Ray-Ban Stories (bottom), with frames that are almost wider than the classic Ray-Ban (top).
Ray-Ban Stories (bottom), with frames that are almost wider than the classic Ray-Ban (top). – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN/20 MINUTES

The connected functions remain perfect in terms of audio, but are convincing in photo and video. As for the autonomy of the glasses, it can take between 6 to 7 hours of moderate use. The storage case can on its part operate for up to four consecutive recharges (duration: one hour per charge, estimated).

Points for improvement …

In addition to a price more than double the classic Ray-Ban, Ray-Ban Stories has, in our opinion, other flaws or shortcomings: they are not waterproof and do not allow live streaming. This second point is undoubtedly a good thing to avoid stalker kombira. It’s a bit of a shame for those who want to share Facebook Live at an event, for example a concert. And Ray-Ban Stories doesn’t offer any augmented reality function.

In addition, the “intelligence” embedded in the glasses remains perfectly relative. They still can’t call contact by voice. “Hey, Facebook, call Sandrine! “, ended with a” It’s beyond my skill at this time “in response. The” now “suggests that things may not stay what they are. In addition, Meta specifies that” these glasses are fixed which will be the gates of the metaverse, and a first step in this adventure. ”It remains to be seen what adventure Meta intends to begin with.

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