After the google glassto them shows of Snapchat, Meta (the Facebook group), in partnership with Ray-Ban, enters the world of connected eyewear with the Stories. A range of smart sunglasses that includes three emblematic models of the brand: walker, round Y Meteorite. The accessory aims to be a means to take videos and photos in a single gesture, with the idea of being able to capture what the user “sees” on a daily basis. The height of elegance, each pair is available in several different colors and lens tints. If the aesthetic is there, what about the technological prowess?
First observation, the electronic equipment is inconspicuous, only two small 5-megapixel cameras fixed on the mount suggest the additional features. The one on the right captures and records, while the one on the left is responsible for capturing the depth of the image. The electronic system is hidden in the branches, which are slightly thicker than those of the classic models, without weighing down the frame.
Once activated using the power button hidden inside the right temple, the Stories must be paired with a mobile phone, using the app FacebookView. The smartphone must have at least Android version 8.1 or higher. On the side of Apple devices, the application is compatible from model 6S and version iOS 13. Each synchronization step is explained step by step through a tutorial and takes an average of a few minutes. For our part, the test carried out with an iPhone required us to take it twice before establishing the connection. Eye, although it seems obvious, it is necessary to previously have a Facebook or Instagram account to be able to connect the glasses.
Once the connection is established, you can start capturing. Glasses on the nose, just press the button on the top of the right temple to start the video. A slight sound warns of the beginning of the recording. Initially limited to 30 seconds, the duration has been extended to 60 seconds thanks to the latest update. To take a photo, it is the same gesture but keeping pressure on the remote. Finally, activate the wizard with 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 indicate to people that they are being filmed or photographed. A 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 is still difficult to detect from a distance.
But to share your most beautiful photos, the transfer of data stored in the glasses to the app FacebookView it is a mandatory step. Nothing very scientific, the application recognizes the number of files available to download in the 4 GB memory of the pair of sunglasses. The user validates the import and in a few moments the files can be consulted on the smartphone. The software offers some options to create small montages automatically or manually, to brighten up with a handful of filters that should be multiplied in a future update. Finally, your content can be shared on the Meta group networks (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) or downloaded to the phone’s internal memory.
The 6-hour autonomy of the glasses in moderate use means that you do not depend on the battery throughout the day. If necessary, they can be recharged using the supplied case, just like wireless headphones. the Stories they also allow you to enjoy sound content thanks to two speakers on the back of the temples. An option to reserve to listen to messages received on Messenger and WhatsApp (function available in English) or even to answer short calls. Unfortunately, the sound lacks bass and ambient noise is not as attenuated as with in-ear headphones. To manage the volume and the controls, the plate of the right branch is tactile and reacts by touching or sliding according to the desired objective.
If it is necessary to recognize that the use of the glasses is quite fluid as a whole, it is necessary to highlight some defects in the quality of the photos. The first, the absence of an integrated stabilizer, you will have to be careful to keep your head stable to avoid a shaky video and watch out for long hair that very easily ends 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 negative point of connected glasses is that they are not splash proof, which considerably reduces their use as everyday sunglasses. Too bad for a pair whose prices still start at 329 euros and go up to 409 euros for the transition lenses.
Artist Burna Boy music video made with Ray-Ban Stories
In general, the Stories they are still 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 new generations of connected glasses launch in the coming years, including a space into this mysterious new world.
connected glasses Ray-Ban storiesfrom 329 to 409 euros.
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