Ray-Ban Stories — notes
Aka Facebook privacy nightmare shades.
Most of my day, I have an Oculus Quest 2 on my head, so obviously I have surrendered my soul to Facebook already. Most reviews seem to cover privacy concerns, so I’m going to ignore that. Go read those if you’re interested in that — and you should be.
I have several pairs of Ray-Bans, but no Wayfarers, so went for those, in blue, which make the cameras slightly more noticeable. This wasn’t intentional, I thought I bought black ones. Oh well. They fit well, slightly heavier than normal Ray-bans but I didn’t notice it after a few minutes.
Speakers are better than I thought they’d be, great for phone calls, videos, and podcasts, but not really music. Also anyone around you can hear it pretty clearly.
The mics work really well for phone calls and speech-to-text, as well as audio for video. Vaguely similar to AirPods Pro with Transparency on, except not as good but more convenient.
Touchpad controls for volume on the right arm seem a bit hit and miss.
The shutter button is in exactly the place I hold shades while putting them on and taking them off so I accidentally hit record every time.
Facebook assistant works well — I was going to disable it, but it’s so convenient to use. Dammit.
When you want to get photos and videos off the device, the app needs to connect to your shades via a Wi-fi network. Doesn’t automatically transfer media to your phone. It is pretty seamless as-is though. Once the media is transferred, it stays in the View app where you can edit it and share to other apps as required. It doesn’t automatically upload to Facebook.
The shades are a super easy way to capture media (and consume audio) without context switching to another device. I really really like it. The sacrifice in quality is worth it for the convenience.
In time, over future iterations, smart glasses like these will get packed with more and more tech, and as I didn’t get Google Glass, Snap Spectacles, or Bose Frames, I thought I’d jump on board here to see what these devices are like, and I’m pretty impressed so far.
The single LED for recording isn’t enough IMO. A larger area is needed to make it more obvious. A light bar along the top of the shades maybe? Holding up a slab of glass and metal to take photos is quite an obvious postural thing to do, and noticeable by people around you. There needs to be some kind of equivalent here.
The speakers could be bone conductive instead, so not everyone can hear what you’re listening to.
Reposition the shutter button so it’s not exactly where you hold shades when putting them on.
Touchpad controls need to work reliably.
Sample montage from the View App
Update — a few days later
When I stop wearing them, I find myself missing them. Mainly for the convenience of the mic and speakers when using my phone.
I was recorded by my own Ray-Ban Stories, and this was my reaction