We tested the data glasses launched by Meta

Launched 6 months ago in the United States, the Ray-Ban Stories connected glasses had not yet arrived in France. Now it’s done! Reminiscent of the defunct Google Glass, these binoculars include cameras to render photos and videos and share them on social networks, but not only. The editors of “20 Minuten” tested whether you can wear them on the tip of your nose all summer long.

First sunglasses

It’s the Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer model that we tried on for several days. Connected glasses are also available in Meteor and Round versions. They are sold from 359 euros and are primarily a pair of sunglasses.

This includes speakers and microphones to play music and answer calls via Bluetooth from a smartphone. But most importantly, they have two 5-megapixel cameras housed on either side of the glasses. On the one hand, they remind you of the Bose Frames glasses for listening to music and making phone calls, but also of the SnapChat Spectacles for snapping in no time at all.

Improved sound quality

Is this mix successful? As much as he can. After charging the glasses in their storage case with built-in battery, Ray-Ban Stories must be paired with a smartphone using the Facebook View application. Then you can immediately enjoy the diverse functions of the binoculars.

Ray-Ban Stories eyewear launched by Meta. -META

On the sound side, it’s not quite like that. The loudspeakers, which are located in each branch, emit a fairly quiet and shrill, very high-pitched sound. This can be enough to hear a short message on the radio, but not, in good conditions, to discover a new album or listen to a playlist.

We’ll also take the time for a quick phone call, but not for Ray-Ban Stories will we be talking to a friend over the phone about the election results. However, we tested the sound of these glasses primarily when riding a bike and it seemed to us to be a fairly safe solution…provided there wasn’t too much noise!

Respect privacy

The photo and video functions are served by two cameras with 5 megapixel sensors (105° angle) located on each side of the lenses. A long press triggers a photo to be taken; a short press records a video of 60 seconds. There is a white diode (visible up to 7 meters according to Meta) above one of the two cameras, which indicates that the glasses are filming.

An indicator light indicates that the Ray-Ban Stories is filming or photographing.
An indicator light indicates that the Ray-Ban Stories is filming or photographing. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN/20 MINUTES

I’m not sure such a signal is necessarily well understood, and it’s appropriate here to caution against all the abuse that use of these glasses could cause. Attention privacy!

“Hey Facebook…! »

Fun: It is possible to control the glasses by voice. A phrase starting with “Hey, Facebook…” allows you to take a call, control your music, and take photos too. “Hey Facebook, take a picture! “. Not very discreet, but works perfectly, in our opinion.

Ray-Ban Stories can store up to 500 photos (2592 x 1944 pixels) or 35 videos of 30 seconds (184 x 184 pixels, at 30 fps). Once 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, each reduced to 3 seconds, can be assigned. Square and vertical formats are available. For their part, the tools offered are reliable, but still in limited numbers. Then it is possible to instantly share your creations on Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger, units of Meta. Which also leaves the possibility of saving his creation to his image stream to use as he pleases. That’s a good point.

Up to 7 hours of battery life

Upon arrival, we are quite seduced by these rather accomplished glasses. They’re light (49 grams versus 44 grams for the traditional Wayfarer) and don’t suffer from any protuberances, as their electronics-swollen branches would suggest. These are hardly thicker and wider than classic Ray-Ban. Suddenly the Ray-Ban Stories are really good sunglasses, comfortable to wear and you can use them every day just to protect your eyes. Or take care of your look! They are also compatible with corrective lenses.

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

The connected functions can still be perfected on the audio side, but are convincing when it comes to photos and videos. The autonomy of the glasses can reach between 6 and 7 hours with moderate use. For its part, the storage case can carry out up to four consecutive charges (duration: approximately one hour per charge).

Improvement Points…

In addition to a price that is more than twice as high as the classic Ray-Ban, the Ray-Ban Stories have other shortcomings or shortcomings in our opinion: They are not waterproof and do not allow live streaming. This second point is undoubtedly a good thing to prevent stalker Firmly. A bit of a shame for those who would have liked to have shared Facebook Live during an event, such as a concert. And the Ray-Ban Stories don’t offer an augmented reality feature.

Also, the “intelligence” embedded in the glasses remains entirely relative. You still can’t voice call a contact. “Hey Facebook, call Sandrine! ‘, ending with a ‘It’s beyond my capabilities at this time’ in response. The “now” suggests that things may not stay the way they are. In addition, Meta specifies that “these glasses are destined to become gateways to the metaverse and represent a first step in this adventure”. It remains to be seen what adventure Meta embarks on.

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