With Meta’s 2023 “Connect” AR/VR conference coming up in just over a week, it comes as little surprise to see the next iteration of its Ray Ban Stories glasses appearing in the FCC’s product ID listings, which is a key, final step before the product is actually released in stores.
As spotted by Janko Roettgers, a new FCC listing for “Luxottica Group Smart Glasses” provides a basic overview of some of the key operating system details for the next version of Meta’s camera-equipped glasses. Luxottica, the owner of Ray Ban, has partnered with Meta on its wearables push, as part of Meta’s bid to make them more fashionable and enticing, as opposed to some robotic tech device (ala Google Glass).
Meta’s already provided some info on the next version of its Ray Ban Stories, which will reportedly enable the wearer to stream video directly to Facebook and/or Instagram, while they’ll also include functionality to let viewers speak to the wearer as they stream.
That could make them very appealing to the rising cohort of live-stream video stars, enabling them to create more in-the-moment, P.O.V. clips, in which they can also respond to viewer prompts while they watch, which could also set the scene for a new type of interactive experience.
Though maybe not in a good way. I can imagine some streamers are going to use this to take on dares posted by their audience, with the more audacious requests potentially earning them bigger donations in-stream.
But given the rising amount of streamers who you now see wandering the streets with their phone on a hand-held gimbal, some even with comments coming through a device speaker, it’ll likely be a popular option, which could see Ray Ban Stories become a more in-demand product.
Which the first version was definitely not.
Reports suggest that over 90% of the first wave of Ray Ban Stories users have since stopped using them, while overall sales have been significantly lower than Meta had expected. Still, the device is the precursor to Meta’s full-feed AR glasses, which are still in development, and while sales of these initial glasses may not be huge, the process will enable Meta to establish a production pipeline, that’ll eventually be expanded into that next stage.
So there’s value to the process beyond the device itself. And if Meta can also make its Ray Ban Stories more appealing, even to a smaller cohort of streamers, that could help to onboard more users, and spark new usage, which will help to enhance the appeal of its evolving product push.
And maybe, it’ll kick off a whole new set of content trends, which will further drive more interest.
Live-streaming had a moment back in 2015, when Meerkat took the market by storm, but in recent times, we’ve seen interest rising once again in sharing your real-time perspective or providing a more in-the-moment, engaging video feed.
We’ll find out more soon, with Meta’s Connect conference to be held on September 27th and 28th.