You might think that sunglasses are just for blocking the sun or making a fashion statement. This is not what Mark Zuckerberg envisions with the relaunch of Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses. The joint venture’s previous version of smart glasses was a failure, failing to gain a large consumer following.
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New way to connect or invasion of privacy?
Zuckerberg isn’t giving up on his vision of creating a wearable device that can do more than just capture and share photos and videos.
The new smart glasses are designed to connect you to the Metaverse, the virtual world that Zuckerberg says will revolutionize social interaction with its meta-AI and live streaming capabilities. But these capabilities also give the possibility of broadcasting live videos with the device’s hidden cameras. Translation – you can be spied on without even knowing it.
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Smart glasses in numbers
The glasses, which cost $299 and look like regular Ray-Ban sunglasses, have two discreet cameras that let you capture photos and videos with a simple tap or voice command.
They also have a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera capable of capturing photos and videos in 16:9 aspect ratio, which is more suitable for social media platforms. The camera also offers improved stabilization and low-light performance.
As for battery life, up to four hours on a single charge and an additional 32 hours with the charging case. The charging case is also 32% lighter than the previous version.
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You can share photos and videos taken with the glasses on three platforms – Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp – or store them on the cloud.
The glasses also feature improved speakers that are 50% more powerful than the original glasses released in 2021 and allow you to listen to music, podcasts or phone calls.
They come in different styles, colors and lens options, and you can customize them on the Ray-Ban remix platform.
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How smart glasses can translate and recognize everything you look at
What makes these glasses very different from the previous version launched in 2021 is the addition of artificial intelligence capabilities.
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According to Zuckerberg, who unveiled the glasses at the Meta Connect 2023 event, the glasses will soon be able to perform language translations and real-time object recognition.
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For example, you can ask Meta AI how to fix a broken faucet it sees through your lenses or what the name of the flower you’re looking at is.
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How do I know if smart glasses are recording?
The new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses feature a privacy LED light that shows when they’re recording. The light is located next to the right lens and is brighter and larger than the previous model. It is white in color and can be seen from the corner of the eye on the frame.
However, I had a hard time noticing when the light was on. If motivated, anyone can take a Sharpie marker or a small piece of electrical tape to block it from others and see if the glasses’ camera is recording or live streaming. Therefore, you may need to look carefully at the glasses to see if they are in place or ask the person wearing the glasses if they are recording.
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Critics raise privacy and ethics concerns over Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses
For this reason and many others, critics have expressed concerns about the invasion of privacy and ethical issues these glasses pose. They argue that the glasses make it easy for people to record others without their consent or knowledge and that the data collected by the glasses could be used maliciously by Meta or third parties. They also point out that the glasses could distract users from their surroundings and cause accidents or injuries.
The ghost of Google Glass
These are not new problems. In fact, they are similar to what Google faced when it launched its Google Glass project in 2013. Google Glass was a pair of smart glasses that had similar features to Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses, but They failed to gain popularity and were discontinued in 2015. One of the main reasons for its failure was the negative reaction from the public, who thought they were scary.
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Kurt’s Key Takeaways
Certainly, Meta’s latest Ray-Ban smart glasses are much improved. Will the second or third time be a good thing? Or will it be another flop that will be forgotten in a few years?
One thing is for sure: they have some pretty cool features, but they also have the potential to be used by creeps to record you without your knowledge or consent.
How people use glasses and how they respect the privacy of others could ultimately determine their success. For me, every time I see a pair of classic Ray-Bans staring in my direction, I wonder if I’m being live-streamed by another social media junkie desperate for attention.
Do you think this is an interesting innovation or a scary invasion of privacy? Would you buy them or avoid them? Let us know by writing to us at Cyberguy.com/Contact
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