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Looking at you, looking at me: Repping the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses

Much have been said about seeing things on social media through rose-colored glasses. There are glasses in this story. Though not rose-colored, they come in different styles and most importantly, they rep cameras and more (emphasis on more). I’m talking about the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses and they’re exactly as the name suggests: Stylish Ray-Bans decked with tech to make them smart, built in partnership with Meta a.k.a. the same company who owns Facebook and Instagram.

Built for a social media world

“Hey Meta, take a photo,” I say to no one in particular. I hear a sound prompt from the little speakers cleverly hidden into the arms. I can already imagine the bemused stares.There’s a faint shutter sound with a tiny light flashing on the right side of my frame. I just took a photo with my glasses. I whip out my phone and open the Meta View app and download the resulting picture ready to post on Instagram.

I can also shoot videos with these glasses, very stable video, which is probably by design as humans aren’t the steadiest tripods. I can, of course, use voice command to order my glasses to shoot video, but I can also opt to press a very discrete button on the right arm. Press for a photo, long press for a video, or you can even switch around the commands. Heck, I could also, in theory,  even livestream on Facebook using these glasses. There is AI baked into these glasses, too. Although, all I really ask it to do is take photos and videos. 

When I’m not running around talking to tech in my glasses, I can chill and listen to music or podcasts on these, or I can even answer phone calls and have conversations with actual people through my shades. Suffice to say, I’ve been enjoying my time with these.

Looking the part

For all the tech in it, the Ray-Ban Metas could pass for any typical sunglasses. I can’t say it enough: these look really, really stylish – even down to the leather carry/charging case. These are the type of glasses I would buy even without the tech in them and the type of glasses I would wear just because. And wear them, I did, even to a wedding!

These don’t only look like typical sunglasses, they feel like them too. They’re not the lightest pair of glasses I’ve worn but they’re not the heaviest either. The Ray-Ban Metas are very comfortable, I can wear these the whole day and even after the battery runs out (though highly unlikely as it charges every time it’s back in the case). 

There are different style and color options for lenses and frames and yes, you can switch to transition lenses or add in your prescription. These are the Headliner frames in matte black paired with brown lenses

Because these shades look so good, the bar for tech on this and how it works is lower. Now, make no mistake: I’m not saying the tech is bad, it’s not. It’s actually kind of impressive even for a second gen device (yes, I had the first gen Ray-Ban Facebook glasses and liked those too). But that’s not the point. The point is these look so good I actually won’t mind if they were sorta bad – I would still wear them. I know because I kept wearing  my Huawei x Gentle Monsters shades even after I broke the speakers on them since they looked fire. These look fire AND work amazingly. 

Actual photos from the wedding taken on the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses

A new era?

The Ray-Ban Metas ensure that you’re ready to record such genuine moments at any given time and even hands-free. The sensation of not having to hold up a camera is underrated in these social media times. In a world obsessed to see and be seen followed by posting about seeing and being seen, it’s been a revelation not having to point a camera around trying to catch the next photo moment. These shades boast a new unique perspective: your actual POV. At a time of edited photos and AI generated images, there’s added value to seeing and experiencing yourself plus being able to capture all of it without having to carry around a phone or a camera. 

But, as unobtrusive it is to use, is it obtrusive to others? When smart glasses like Google Glass first launched, there was a huge uproar and a deluge of privacy concerns – none of the same uproar has met the Ray-Ban Metas, at least not with the same intensity. Of course Meta claims a new and more noticeable LED capture light to let others know when you’re recording, but is this enough and will this ever be enough? After all, the same things that make the Ray-Ban Meta valuable in capturing those genuine moments are the same things that usher in privacy concerns for others. 

One thing is certain, though: When you are ready for that photo, you’ll look good enough to be in them with these Ray-Bans.