Ray-Ban Stories glasses invite themselves on social networks

Launched 6 months ago in the United States, connected glasses Ray-Ban Stories had not yet arrived in France. It is now done! Reminiscent of the defunct Google Glass, these binoculars incorporate cameras to render photos and videos to share on social networks, but not only. To find out if you will be able to wear them on the tip of your nose all summer, the editorial staff of “20 Minutes” tested them.

First sunglasses

It’s the Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer model that we tried on for several days. But connected glasses are also available in their Meteor and Round versions. Sold from 359 euros, they are first and foremost sunglasses.

They include speakers and microphones to play music and take calls via Bluetooth from a smartphone. But above all, they have two 5 megapixel cameras housed on either side of the glasses. On the one hand, they are reminiscent of the Bose Frames glasses for listening to music and telephoning, but also the SnapChat Spectacles, for instantly making Snaps.

Improved sound quality

Is this mix successful? As much as he can be. After recharging the glasses in their storage case with integrated battery, the Ray-Ban Stories must be paired with a smartphone via the Facebook View application. Then you can immediately enjoy the various functions of the binoculars.

Ray-Ban Stories glasses launched by Meta. -META

On the sound side, it’s not quite that. The loudspeakers located in each branch broadcast a sound at a fairly low volume and shrill, very high-pitched. This may be enough to listen to a news flash on the radio, but not to discover a new album or listen to a playlist in good conditions.

Similarly, we take the time for a brief telephone conversation, but it is not with the Ray-Ban Stories that we will discuss the election results on the telephone with a friend. However, we notably tested the audio of these glasses while riding a bicycle and it seemed to us to be a fairly secure solution… provided that there was not too much noise around!

Respect privacy

The photo and video functions are operated by two cameras with 5 megapixel sensors (105° angles) located on each side of the glasses lenses. A long press triggers the taking of a photo; a short press captures a video of 60 seconds. Located above one of the two cameras, a white diode (visible up to 7 meters, according to Meta) alerts that the glasses are filming.

An indicator light indicates that the Ray-Ban Stories are filming or taking a photo.
An indicator light indicates that the Ray-Ban Stories are filming or taking a photo. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN/20 MINUTES

Not sure that such a signal is necessarily well understood and it is appropriate here to warn against all the abuses that the use of these glasses could cause. Watch out for privacy!

“Hey, Facebook…! »

Fun: it is possible to control the glasses by voice. A sentence starting with “Hey, Facebook…” allows you to take a call, control your music and also take pictures. “Hey, Facebook, take a picture! “. Not very discreet, but it works perfectly, as we found.

Ray-Ban Stories can store up to 500 photos (2592 x 1944 pixels) or 35 videos of 30 seconds (184 x 184 pixels, at 30 fps). As soon as the Facebook View application is open, you can download your images to your smartphone, customize them and even create small dynamic montages (with some effects and music).

In video, up to ten clips reduced to 3 seconds each can thus be associated. Square and vertical formats are available. For their part, the tools offered are reliable but still limited in number. Then it is possible to instantly share your creations on Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger, entities of Meta. Which also leaves the possibility of saving his creation in his image stream in order to use it as desired. That’s a good point.

Up to 7 hours of battery life

On arrival, we are quite seduced by these rather accomplished glasses. Light (49 grams, against 44 grams for the traditional Wayfarer), they do not suffer from excrescences, as their branches swollen with electronics might suggest. These are barely thicker and wider than with classic Ray-Ban. Suddenly, the Ray-Ban Stories are first of all really good sunglasses, pleasant to wear And you can use them every day for the sole purpose of protecting your eyes. Or take care of your look! They are also compatible with corrective lenses.

The Ray-Ban Stories (bottom), with frames barely wider than those of the classic Ray-Ban (top).
The Ray-Ban Stories (bottom), with frames barely wider than those of the classic Ray-Ban (top). – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN/20 MINUTES

The connected functions remain perfectible on the audio side, but are convincing in photo and video. As for the autonomy of the glasses, it can reach between 6 to 7 hours in moderate use. The storage case can for its part operate up to four successive recharges (duration: one hour per charge, approximately).

Points for improvement…

In addition to a price more than twice that of classic Ray-Ban, the Ray-Ban Stories have other flaws or shortcomings in our opinion: they are not waterproof and do not allow live streaming. This second point is undoubtedly a good thing to prevent stalkers feast. It’s a bit of a shame for those who would have liked to share Facebook Live during an event, in concert for example. And the Ray-Ban Stories do not offer any augmented reality function.

Moreover, the “intelligence” embedded in the glasses remains entirely relative. They are still unable to call a contact by voice. “Hey, Facebook, call Sandrine! “, ends with a” It goes beyond my skills at this time “in response. The “right now” suggests that things might not stay as they are. Moreover, Meta specifies that “these glasses are destined to become gateways to the metaverse, and constitute a first step in this adventure”. It remains to be seen what adventure Meta intends to embark on.

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Ray-Ban Stories glasses invite themselves on social networks


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