Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today, the company is launching additional hands-free features for its Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses. Starting today, Ray-Ban Stories users can call, listen to messages, and send end-to-end encrypted messages using WhatsApp. Meta added similar functionality to Facebook Messenger last year. Zuckerberg also announced that users will soon be able to directly reply to Messenger or WhatsApp messages using voice commands.
With this new update, users can call and send WhatsApp messages hands-free by saying “Hey Facebook, send a message…” or “Hey Facebook, call…”. You can also listen to new messages you receive on WhatsApp. As soon as you receive a new message, the glasses will say “New WhatsApp message from
The company notes that your private messages and calls are automatically protected with end-to-end encryption, which means that WhatsApp, Meta and third parties cannot read or listen to them. Once the voice assistant identifies the voice command associated with a WhatsApp call or messaging, the voice transcript and audio is not stored on any server.
Meta also says it plans to expand support for WhatsApp and Messenger to Franco- and Italian-speaking users of Ray-Ban Stories this year.
Today’s update is rolling out to the Facebook View app for iOS and Android in stages and will be available to everyone in the coming days. The meta says users should make sure their glasses have the latest app update and firmware.
Meta debuted in Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses in September 2021 in partnership with eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica. The glasses allow users to take photos and videos with the two built-in 5-megapixel cameras, listen to music with the built-in speakers, and receive phone calls. The glasses must be connected to an iOS or Android device for full functionality, although users can take and store hundreds of photos or dozens of videos on the glasses before transferring media to their phones via the new Facebook View app. The dual cameras allow users to add 3D effects to their photos and videos after uploading them to the app.
The smart sunglasses come in three classic Ray-Ban styles with different color and lens combinations. Ray-Ban Stories are fully compatible with prescription lenses. Glasses start at $299, with polarized and transition lens options available at a higher price.
During the launch, Meta indicated that the device was a stepping stone for its augmented reality ambitions and an attempt to introduce users to the idea of high-tech glasses.
The launch of new functions occurs as Meta is said to be shrinking their plans for augmented reality glasses, according to a recent report Information. It is reported that the company originally planned to release the first version of its augmented reality glasses, codenamed Project Nazare, in 2024. However, employees have been advised that Meta is no longer planning to commercially release augmented reality glasses due to efforts to scale down heavy investments in its Reality Labs and AR/VR division. Instead, the company plans to use the first version of the augmented reality glasses as a demo product rather than a commercial one. Now Meta plans to prioritize the release of the second version of augmented reality glasses, codenamed Artemis.
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