Speaker 1: Facebook sunglasses, Ray band stories. Let's talk about them.
Speaker 1: [00:00:30] Facebook has been promising smart glasses for a while. Now come Ray band stories, which I'm wearing right now, their Facebook's first smart glasses, and they're not the only ones that are out there on the market. There are actually a lot of smart class, ambitious companies, Amazon bows spectacles from Snapchat, and they're bound to be others. Facebook's entry into the space sounds promising because Facebook has a VR company Oculus that [00:01:00] has already done some astounding work. And the Oculus quest is the best portable VR headset that exists in my opinion. But what about glasses? Well, right now seems like Facebook has a lot of work to do.
Speaker 1: Ray stories are AR glasses. They're smart glasses with a couple of features that could eventually grow over time. You've already seen them in other products. One [00:01:30] is audio. This can play audio through its arms and basically be, uh, a kind of a wearable pair of headphones. So you could wear them Randall, listen to music or take calls. These are camera lenses that right inside the frame, you've seen that before Snapchat spectacles has them Google glass way back, had a camera built in I've worn things like this, where I've taken photos and video on the go as a type of a surrogate memory for what feels like going on 10 years. The camera part of this is also [00:02:00] pretty basic. It basically takes photos, takes 32nd video clips and that's it. Is that enough? Well, it's very smooth. I found that when I took these out, they were pretty easy to use.
Speaker 1: And I also found that they really look like regular glasses, which is pretty amazing because, um, over time I found they at some glasses look really clunky and stand out. Even though I think they look normal. I remember wearing music, smart [00:02:30] glasses and thinking they look normal. These however really do feel normal and they look normal. They look like Ray bands with slightly thicker arms Ray band stories come in a charge case. That's packed in with them. And you snap the glasses in over here to ally, attach them and charge, which is pretty clever. This has about three charges of use and the glasses themselves you're supposed to last for. They say up to six hours a day, but that's still with limited use. [00:03:00] Not all the time. It took about a quarter of the battery life away. When I made a 30 minute phone call, phone call sounded pretty good.
Speaker 1: The audio sounded good. I think the microphone was picking up, uh, lawnmowers in nearby, um, a lot louder than I would normally have with like AirPods or on a phone and the audio quality's okay. It's not as good as bows for the camera. Quality is eh, cause it's five megapixel cameras, not as good as my phone. So when would I use these and not use my phone? That's a good question. I guess, maybe going on a roller coaster [00:03:30] or, you know, going boating, although these are not meant to be used in the water. In fact, the instructions say that take care when using them, you, and that's the other thing, I don't know how wear and terror are going to, uh, factor into these glasses because I use my glasses kind of roughly, and these are a piece of emerging tech and take photos and video.
Speaker 1: You can use your voice commands or you can press a button here on the top, which starts photos and video. Interestingly one tap does [00:04:00] the video tapping and holding does a photo. Um, I would think that snapping would be something you wanna do a little faster, but there's a notable time delay, maybe that's to prevent creep shots and stuff like that. But the video is really easy to take very quickly. And the light that goes on here, which I can also see on the inside is not very bright. Uh, it's bright enough, but in a lot of outdoor conditions, I feel like people wouldn't notice it. So these kind of feel a little bit like spy glasses. They can be equipped with prescription [00:04:30] lenses, but I don't know if I'd necessarily outfit them with that and then make them my everyday glasses as sunglasses while I wear them outside.
Speaker 1: But how many times am I gonna be wearing sunglasses as opposed to something like a watch or Bluetooth headphones. And that's kind of the trade off here because of $300 for the frames, they're going to be more expensive glasses probably than other options you could get, but not tremendously. So then there's the privacy stuff. Okay. So Facebook is locked down [00:05:00] a lot of the features. In fact, you could speak to command these glasses with, um, Hey Facebook and it makes a little beep when you do that, that only takes photos and videos. Hey, Facebook take a photo.
Speaker 1: The lenses are pretty low key. In fact, they look almost invisible. These are kind of like stealth glasses with cameras in them. And that's kind of weird, but I like the way they look. [00:05:30] I just don't remember if anything really interesting to report because they feel like glasses. There's a touch pad over here that handles volume and you can tap to control answering and ending and skipping tracks and doing things kinda like AirPods and other Bluetooth headphones. The video in the photos all go into a new app called Facebook view. That acts as the kind of pairing app on your Android phone or your iPhone. When it imports photos in video, it actually creates a local wifi connection to bring those in dropping, uh, your music or other [00:06:00] stuff, to be able to finish that process. And when the photos are in there, then they can be uploaded or shared wherever you want them to go.
Speaker 1: Facebook holds them in that app first and there are a couple of different photo and video effects, but not a ton. Some of them take advantage of the stereo cameras to add some depth effects to photos. And there's also an AI effect that blends multiple video clips into montages, kind of like the stuff that apple does with, uh, with its memories on the photos app. Google does some stuff like that too. I mean, there [00:06:30] could be other updates in the future and Facebook is promising to eventually blend in more AR futures, but this is missing a lot of things that I I'm used to looking for in AR products. There's no spatial audio for 3d audio effects say to, you know, have a group of people in a room to take calls. That's something that Facebook believes in, but it's not in this product yet.
Speaker 1: Also the stereo cameras don't seem to tap into a lot of augmented reality effects, the type of stuff that Snapchat's already doing on its spectacles and Snapchat already building an augmented reality glasses, [00:07:00] developer kit for people to go even further. So it feels like this is kind of embryonic for a company and it seems like it's normally pushing the envelope in AR and VR. I will say that the tech built into these frames feels a lot more subtle than other glasses I've tried, but I also have a lot of questions about how this will play out with Facebook, how this will play out with VR, how it'll play out with Facebook's other products. It's a totally unknown landscape, but it's likely to not be the last pair of regular glasses that are going to incorporate [00:07:30] this type of tech into their frames. Kind of like when Google started to have wear west watches built by fossil and built by other traditional Watchmen manufacturers, does that signal, the coming wave of smart glasses to come.
Speaker 1: We already have Bose frames and you have Amazon echo frames and you have a lot of options that you could also pick for putting glasses with equipped with cameras on to do stuff 30 seconds of recording at a time at a resolution that isn't that great means it's not gonna be for everyone. It seems like more about capturing moments [00:08:00] and you're gonna have to live in Facebook's world, which is saying that most people are not gonna be okay with, for something like this. And that's the whole story of Ray band stories. Facebook's inevitably going to be building towards more wearable tech. And this feels like that first step in, but I really have a lot of questions how it's going to feel. The AI is going to develop where the ecosystem's going to go. These are not VR glasses. There's a whole new world and this feels like a baby step.
Speaker 1: [00:08:30] I'd be curious to see what these feel like when I've used them more. But at this point I've only used them for a week. And I don't know if I want to use them longer than that. There's not a lot of G w wow stuff with these impaired to something like a VR headset. And I don't know if I wanna wear them all the time as part of my daily life. That's the thing about wearable tech. You gotta get it to be invisible, useful and not annoying, but these look like they're not the last pair of Facebook glasses. So I guess we'll see where they'll go in future iterations [00:09:00] and see what else they introduce kind of Luke warm on these. But I have to admit the design is pretty slick and they're a lot more like regular glasses than anything else I've seen.