The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses made a grand entrance at Connect 2023, garnering significant attention. While these smart glasses can perform video recording, photography, and handling calls like their predecessor, “Ray-Ban Stories,” the spotlight fell on the incorporation of artificial intelligence.
The Ray-Ban smart glasses now come equipped with Meta AI, the digital assistant from the social media giant. A simple “Hey Meta!” summons this digital companion. After perusing multiple tech outlets, such as DigitalTrends, Engadget, How-to Geek, and others, let’s delve into the three key aspects that didn’t quite resonate with reviewers.
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Meta AI Limitations
Compared to the AirGo 3 smart glasses, which boast compatibility with ChatGPT, a well-established AI chatbot, the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses incorporate Meta AI, which is still a work in progress. Reviewers appreciated Meta AI for its basic question responses when prompted with “Hey Meta,” but were disappointed by its limited real-time information capabilities, beyond weather and forecasts.
Engadget’s Karissa Bell highlighted that Meta AI’s knowledge is capped at December 2022, which becomes apparent when inquiring about events post that date. Furthermore, Meta AI currently lacks internet access, a feature reviewers felt would greatly enhance its utility. While it may not be the fastest in responses, it does shine in creative tasks, like generating captions for Instagram photos.
Meta’s announcement of the second-generation smart glasses raised privacy concerns. Some reviewers, such as Stuff’s Jack Needham and Android Central’s Michael Hicks, expressed discomfort with the idea of pointing a camera at people without their consent. They found the experience invasive and unsettling.
Vicky Jessop, writing for Yahoo! Finance, pointed out that the glasses’ LED light indicator alerts passersby when the camera is in use, providing transparency and mitigating privacy concerns.
The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses have a rated battery life of four hours with light usage. In tests conducted by a few reviewers, the glasses averaged around 3 to 3.5 hours of use, including phone calls, music streaming, photography, Meta AI interactions, and notifications. Some critics noted that the need to rely on the battery case to extend usage was a drawback.
Tyler Hayes from How-to Geek found that a 30-minute video call depleted the battery by approximately 20%. Despite these limitations, the reviewers generally expressed satisfaction with the smart glasses’ hands-free features, stylish design, quality speakers and microphones, and Instagram livestreaming capabilities. Meta has promised a forthcoming visual search update for the smart glasses, which could significantly enhance their functionality.
In summary, while the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses received praise for their unique features and style, reviewers noted that Meta AI’s limitations, privacy concerns, and battery life fell short of expectations.
However, there’s anticipation that the glasses will see improvements with future updates, particularly in the realm of visual search.