Remember Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses, the kit with cameras that made everyone shit-scared about their privacy because any creep could record them secretly? Well, Meta (previously known as Facebook) has revealed a new and more dangerous version – the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses – which cost $300 and are now up for pre-orders.
They come in a bunch of cool Ray-Ban styles, but there are some upgrades that really matter, and not necessarily for good reasons. The new glasses come with a dramatically improved 12-megapixel ultrawide front cameras (compared to the 5-megapixel for the last generation).
Now, they capture videos at 1080p resolution, allow storage of more photos and videos, and have a faster chip inside. So, what's keeping a bad actor from recording absolute strangers without their consent? Well, there is a tiny white LED to alert the folks in the camera's field of view that they're being recorded.
It's a teeny tiny light, and can easily be confused for reflection from anything – from God's sun to mankind's bulb. The privacy concerns spurred furor in a bunch of European markets, and rightfully so. But the next-gen Ray-Ban smart glasses take things to the next level.
The first iteration could only save photos and videos in a companion app on your phone. That meant if you were suspicious that someone wearing these glasses was recording peepin and creepin, you could ask to take a look at their app's gallery and see if they engaged in shady shenanigans.
However, the new glasses get the ability to livestream directly to Instagram and Facebook, which means there is no need of leaving a local digital trace. That also means your activities could be live-streamed in real time on the world's biggest social media platform without your consent.
And given Instagram and Meta's shit track record with moderation, your personal moments could be on display for the entire world to see in real time before some good samaritan reports it and the live-stream is taken down.