This Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, spoke at the firm’s Menlo Park HQ as part of Connect 2023, an emerging technology and product showcase event.

XR audiences eagerly awaited the event due to Zuckerberg’s promise to reveal the Quest 3 product.

The firm did debut the release window and complete specifications of the Quest 3 MR headset. However, the firm also unveiled a series of accompanying updates for the firm’s XR, AI, and social media services.

Notably, Meta revealed the next iteration of its Ray-Ban product. Of its listed specifications, the latest Ray-Ban immersive product will leverage AI assistant technology for various consumer use cases.

The AR product is leveraging Meta’s in-house AI framework to boost the usability of the product – “these are the first smart glasses that are built and shipped with Meta AI in them,” Zuckerberg remarked.

Zuckerberg also added:

One area that I am especially interested to see. Is how the advances in AI intersect with advances in building the next computing platform.

While the device will contain AR-lite features similar to the previous Ray-Ban immersive product, AI integration is a big focus for Meta this time around. The firm uses AR-based tracking cameras and software to help the device understand the world around a user and assist them with everyday goals like finding and presenting repair guides and cooking recipes using only an operator’s voice input.

Zuckerberg explained:

I think smartglasses are going to be an important platform for the future. Not only because they’re a natural way to put holograms in the world; so we can put digital objects in our physical space. But also, becuase if you think about it, smartglasses are the ideal form factor for you to let an AI assistant see what you’re seeing and hear what you’re hearing. Before this last year’s AI breakthroughs, I kind of thought that smartglasses were only really going to become ubiquitous once we really dialled in the holograms and the displays, which we are making progress on but is somewhat longer, but now I think that the AI part of this is going to be just as important in smartglasses being widely adopted as any of the augmented reality features.

Moreover, the abilities of the Ray-Ban product don’t stop at simple instructional visualisations. Meta is also planning to support the device going into 2024, with plans to enhance and add new features to the product’s AI and AR framework.

The CEO noted how, in the future, Ray-Ban smartglasses should be able to leverage AI to translate a sign or provide context to a historical landmark, achieved by the AR sensors detecting what is in front of a user.

Zuckerberg added:

Starting next year. We are issuing a free software update to the glasses that makes them multimodal. So, the glasses are going to understand what you are looking at.- Before any of these AI advancements came up, we started planning this product.

Specs and Further Details

The new and improved Ray-Ban Meta smartglasses will hit store shelves on October 17 for $299 – with the firm touting improved audio, visuals, and battery life.

The device comes in two models: Wayfarer and Headliner – both costing the same base price and coming with various colour options.

Equally, both versions support 100% UVA & UVB protection. However, the Headline model also has “Polar technology” that “virtually eliminates glare from the sun.”

The product allows users to interact with an AI assistant, leverage direct Facebook/Instagram video streaming, and call friends. Moreover, Meta is quick to answer queries about public safety and privacy concerning its new product – with a selection of privacy and bystander safety considerations ready for potential buyers.

Other features include:

    • 4 hours of battery life per charge

    • An external battery case that supports up to 32 hours of charging

    • The device roughly supports 30 minutes of live streaming at 720p, 30 FPS

    • Meta AI support in English, Italian, and French

    • Prescription lens support

    • Two open-ear speakers that support roughly 76.1dB volume output, which Meta claims is 50 percent louder than the first iteration and has 2X more bass

    • Five separate microphones to detect voice inputs

    • 12 MP ultra-wide camera

    • 1440 x 1920 pixels at 30 fps display

    • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3 support

    • iOS 13.0, Android 8.1, and above compatibility