We tested the smart glasses launched by Meta

Launched 6 months ago in the United States, connected glasses Ray-Ban stories had not yet reached France. It is done! remembering the dead google glassthese binoculars integrate cameras to take photos and videos to share in the social media, but not only. To find out if you can wear them on the tip of your nose all summer, the “20 Minutes” newsroom tested them.

first sunglasses

It is the Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer model that we tried on for several days. But the connected glasses are also available in their Meteor and Round versions. Sold from 359 euros, they are above all sunglasses.

They include speakers and microphones to play music and take calls via Bluetooth from a smartphone. But above all, they have two 5 megapixel cameras housed on each side of the glasses. On the one hand, they remind of glasses. frames from Bose to listen to music and make calls, but also the Glasses of SnapChat, to make Snaps instantly.

Improved sound quality

Is this mix successful? As much as it can be. After recharging the glasses in their integrated battery storage case, Ray-Ban Stories must be paired with a smartphone via the Facebook View app. Then you can immediately enjoy the various functions of the binoculars.

Ray-Ban Stories glasses launched by Meta.
Ray-Ban Stories glasses launched by Meta. -GOAL

On the sound side, it’s not exactly that. The loudspeakers located in each branch emit a sound at a fairly low volume and shrill, very high-pitched. This may be enough to hear a breaking news item on the radio, but not enough to discover a new album or listen to a playlist in good condition.

Similarly, we take the time for a brief phone conversation, but it is not with the Ray-Ban Stories that we will discuss the outcome of the elections with a friend. However, we did extensively test the audio from these glasses while cycling and found it to be a fairly reassuring solution… as long as there’s not too much noise around!

respect privacy

The photo and video functions are operated by two cameras with 5 megapixel sensors (angles of 105°) located on each side of the goggle lenses. A long press causes the taking of a photo; a short press captures a 60-second video. Located above one of the two cameras, a white diode (visible up to 7 meters, according to Meta) warns that the glasses are filming.

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

I am not sure that such a sign is necessarily well understood and it is appropriate here to warn against all the abuses that the use of these glasses could cause. Beware of privacy!

” Hello Facebook…! »

Fun: it is possible to control the glasses with your voice. 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! “. It is not very discreet, but it works perfectly, as we verified.

Ray-Ban Stories can store up to 500 photos (2592 x 1944 pixels) or 35 30-second videos (184 x 184 pixels, at 30fps). As soon as the Facebook View app opens, you can download your images to your smartphone, customize them, and even create little dynamic montages (with some effects and music).

In video, up to ten clips reduced to 3 seconds each can be associated. Square and vertical formats are available. For its part, the tools offered 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 ability to save your creation to your image stream so you can use it as you wish. That’s a good point.

Up to 7 hours of battery life

Upon arrival, we are quite seduced by these quite successful glasses. Light (49 grams, compared to 44 grams for the traditional Wayfarer), they do not suffer from growths, as their swollen electronic branches might suggest. These are slightly thicker and wider than with the classic Ray-Bans. Suddenly Ray-Ban Stories are first and foremost really good sunglasses that are nice to wear and can be worn every day for the sole purpose of protecting your eyes. Or take care of your look! They are also compatible with corrective lenses.

The Ray-Ban Stories (below), with frames slightly wider than those of the classic Ray-Bans (above).
The Ray-Ban Stories (below), with frames slightly wider than those of the classic Ray-Bans (above). – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN/20 MINUTES

The connected functions are still perfectible on the audio side, but they are convincing in photo and video. As for the autonomy of the glasses, it can reach between 6 to 7 hours in moderate use. The storage case for its part can operate up to four successive recharges (duration: approximately one hour per charge).

Points to improve…

In addition to more than double the price of the classic Ray-Ban, the Ray-Ban Stories have, in our opinion, other flaws or shortcomings: they are not waterproof and they do not allow live streaming. This second point is certainly a good thing to prevent stalkers feast. It’s a bit embarrassing for those who would have liked to share Facebook Live during an event, at a concert, for example. And the Ray-Ban Stories don’t offer any augmented reality features.

Also, the “intelligence” embedded in the glasses is still entirely relative. They still can’t call a contact by voice. “Hey Facebook, call Sandrine! “, ends with a “It is beyond my abilities at this time” in response. The “right now” suggests that things might not stay as they are. In addition, Meta specifies that “these glasses are destined to become gateways to the metaverse, and constitute a first step in this adventure.” It remains to be seen what adventure Meta intends to embark on.

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