Wearable tech is making a comeback.
Meta announced last week that it is coming out with its new Ray-Ban wearable tech collaboration Smart Glasses.
Some of you may be having a bit of deja vu because two years ago, they came out with a similar product called Stories smart glasses. The new product is not only a rebranding, but also a redesign. The original Stories pair did not get great reviews. People said they were too heavy and their pictures and videos did not come out well.
Much of this criticism was similar to that of the original wearable tech failure of Google Glass. While Google Glass also sported a small screen to give the user notifications and alerts on the edge of their vision, much of the camera criticism came from the poor quality of the image. The selling point in terms of video for Google Glass and Meta’s sunglasses is a popular idea among video creators: the ability to shoot truly first-person video — allowing people to record the world the way they see it.
The problem with Google Glass was that the video didn’t turn out that way at all. Because the lens was statically mounted on the person’s face it would move with the body as the person moved. The tiniest move would have a drastic effect on the video. They took shakey video to another level. Unlike our eyes, the Google Glass lens didn’t have a way to counterbalance the movement of our bodies to stabilize the image. Additionally, the camera quality was quite terrible and overall the device was uncomfortable to wear — it’s no surprise that the product didn’t make it past its limited prototype release.
Many of these criticisms were extended to Meta’s Stories glasses.
Now back to the new release of the Smart Glasses. So far, the reviews are mostly positive. Indicating that many of these issues have been resolved thanks to the tech world’s most trendy letters: AI. The new glasses use AI image stabilization software that is being utilized in many smartphone camera systems now allowing for the video to be much smoother — a technology that is making many smartphone gimbals a thing of the past.
The camera on them is an ultra-wide 12MP camera which is similar to that of the main lens on a standard iPhone. The glasses allow for video recording at 1080p HD and can take videos up to 60 seconds per clip. Additionally, the glasses are capable of live streaming — although exclusively to the Meta platforms of Facebook and Instagram.
A product like this certainly isn’t going to compete with the smartphone for its dominance in mobile video production, but it is a major step forward in wearable technology. One area where they may find success is that of social media video. With so many videos taken from POV on platforms like Instagram and TikTok with creators on the street and approaching strangers, the wearable camera would allow them to put their arms down and more naturally approach people and traverse the streets. The other uses seem quite limited for now, but it will be exciting to see where it could go.
If you want to have your own pair it will cost you $299 and pre-orders are now available from Meta and Ray-Ban with orders shipping later this month.