Image: Meta / Ray-Ban
The second generation of Ray-Ban Stories is on its way, and there is new information about possible new features.
With Ray-Ban Stories, you can make calls, take photos and videos, listen to music and podcasts, and dictate messages or have them read to you. They don’t have a display, but they weigh less than 50 grams and are almost indistinguishable from regular sunglasses.
Rumors have been circulating for some time that partners Meta and EssilorLuxottica are planning to launch a new Ray-Ban Stories. The first generation of the wearable launched in September 2021.
The Verge reported in March that the second-generation glasses could launch in the fall of 2023, and a recent Wall Street Journal report suggested a fall or spring launch.
Livestreaming, adaptive volume
In the latest issue of his Lowpass newsletter, journalist Janko Roettgers claims to have seen internal Meta documents about the upcoming Ray-Ban Stories.
Probably the biggest new feature is livestreaming via Facebook and Instagram. “Live streamers will be able to directly communicate with their audience, with the glasses relaying comments via audio over the built-in headphones,” Roettgers writes.
Meta is also working on adaptive volume. “With this feature, the glasses will automatically monitor the ambient noise level, and increase playback volume in noisy surroundings.”
Better cameras and longer battery life.
The new glasses won’t take photos or videos when the LED has been tampered with, according to Roettgers. The LED lights up when pictures and videos are being taken to alert the surrounding area. The journalist points out that it is currently possible to cover the LED with paint or tape.
According to Roettgers, the second generation of Ray-Ban Stories will be released with several new frames. The older models are currently being phased out. The Wall Street Journal reported that the new Ray-Ban Stories will also feature improved cameras and longer battery life.
The new features and improvements are much needed, as the old Ray-Ban Stories are said to be used regularly by less than 10 percent of customers.
No display until at least 2025
The second generation of smart glasses won’t have an AR component, Roettgers writes.
According to Meta’s current product roadmap, the third generation will have a display and is expected to launch in 2025, The Verge reported in March. The display is expected to handle simpler tasks, such as displaying smartphone notifications and translated text. Full augmented reality will not be supported. According to The Information, Meta’s first commercial AR glasses codenamed Orion won’t be released until 2027.
We may learn more about the new Ray-Ban stories and Meta’s AR projects at Meta Connect 2023 on September 27.