Ray-Ban lent its cool to Meta before, but new second-gen shades bring livestreaming

Ray-Ban x Meta Smart Glasses
(Image credit: Ray-Ban | Meta)

The Ray-Bay / Meta smart glasses partnership has taken a big step with the release of new models boasting better 12-megapixel cameras and – for the first time – livestreaming to Facebook and Instagram (which just happen to be Meta platforms!)

The last Ray-Ban x Meta collaboration saw the introduction of the Ray-Ban Stories, which never really reached the heights that it was expected to. Some new additions to features, quality, and ease of use may see the popularity increase with the new release, possibly becoming the best camera glasses of the year.

The latest model enables the capture of both photos and video, as well as streaming to Meta sites Facebook and Instagram, and of course what new tech release isn't complete without a touch of AI!

(Image credit: Ray-Ban | Meta)

The photo capabilities have improved on the previous model's 5MP, with a 12MP ultra-wide angle lens capable of capturing high-quality images. The camera is built into the front corner of the frame, and in the other corner is an LED sensor and indicator, letting people know that you have an active camera when recording and taking photos. The new camera also now captures solely in portrait mode at a photo resolution of 3024x4032px and video of 1080px for easier social media compatibility.

On the topic of social media, streaming straight to your Meta apps is obviously a big feature with these glasses, enabling 30 minutes of hands-free streaming. It also allows seamless switching between phone cameras and glasses for multi-camera options.

(Image credit: Ray-Ban | Meta)

The other big feature, and one for the users not as worried about the social media side of things, is the glasses can be used for calls, messaging, and listening to music. Hands-free communication is made easy through the use of voice commands picked up by no less than five built-in microphones, and relayed back to you through improved open-ear speakers (speakers in the arm above the ear). SMS, calls, and WhatsApp are all compatible with this system.

Other new features include Meta AI for answering your questions on the go, a hand touch control panel on the right side arm for controlling music and initializing capture, and better charging and battery life of 4 hours through a portable charging case allowing up to eight charges (a top up approach similar to Apple AirPods).

(Image credit: Ray-Ban | Meta)

Lots of really cool additions to the previous model, and I am sure these will gain the interest of many an influencer. In terms of the quality of photos and videos, looking at the sample videos and images online, they will suit the influencer market well enough. For now though, until we can get our hands on them for testing, we can't say any more, but this improvement is exciting, as we are getting closer to high-quality recording of our daily perspectives. This, I think, is a cool way of capturing the world, seeing through the eyes of another.

The Ray-Ban / Meta smart glasses are available now in two styles, the classic Wayfarer, and the Headliner, in a range of colors and lens types that can be combined. The cost is, inevitably, a little steeper than ordinary sunglasses (mind you, that's true of all Ray-Bans!) Prices start at $299 | £299 | AU $489.

For more information on the best equipment for influencers, see our guides on the best cameras for vlogging and The best phone for video recording and vlogging.

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Kalum Carter
Staff Writer

Kalum Carter is a UK-based photographer, writer, and photo editor. Kalum has been working as a freelance photographer for the best part of ten years, covering a wide range of assignments for well-known brands and publications in areas including portraiture, fashion, and documentary. 

Between commercial assignments, Kalum is currently working on a personal photography project exploring his connection to the Gower region of South Wales UK, as part of an MA in Photography from The University of West England.