BUSINESS Ray-Ban and Meta Launch Their Next Generation of Smart Glasses By Staff Thursday, September 28, 2023 12:30 AM Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses will be offered in a variety of styles and colors. MENLO PARK, Calif. and CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—Meta Platforms, Inc. (META: NASDAQ) and EssilorLuxottica (ESLX:PA) introduced their next generation of smart glasses, the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, Wednesday during the annual Meta Connect event. Ray-Ban Meta represents a significant upgrade in features and performance from Ray-Ban Stories, the first collaboration between Meta and Ray-Ban’s parent company, EssilorLuxottica, released in September, 2021. The new collection offers the first ever eyewear with live streaming and Meta AI built-in, higher quality camera, and improved audio and microphone systems paired with a redesigned, more intuitive app and charging case. The livestreaming function allows content creators to broadcast their experiences and point-of-view in real time, hands-free. Wearers can toggle between the glasses and phone camera to Instagram Live or Facebook Live for up to 30 minutes. The Meta AI offering is exclusive to the U.S. at launch. Rocco Basilico, chief wearables officer for EssilorLuxottica, said, “We’re incredibly proud to collaborate with Meta to build this nascent category from the ground up. The new Ray-Ban Meta collection is in a league of its own with features that have never fit inside a pair of glasses before. The world sees you in a pair of your favorite Wayfarer, perhaps with your own prescription and Transitions lenses that go from day to night, but you know you have this powerful universe of tech inside. Mark Zuckerberg announcing the launch of Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses yesterday at Meta Connect developers conference in Menlo Park, Calif.Photo courtesy of Meta "Meta AI, live streaming, and insanely crisp audio and calling capabilities—all handsfree. This is what we imagined when we first decided to enter this space. Truly wearable, life-enhancing technology. And it will only get better,” he said. Unveiling Ray-Ban Meta yesterday at the Meta Connect event, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that starting next year, Meta will issue a free software update to the glasses that makes them “multimodal.” He said, “The glasses are going to be able to understand what you’re looking at when you ask them questions.” Among the many new features of Ray-Ban Meta is a Wearers is a voice prompt, “Hey Meta,” that wearers can use to control features on the glasses. Additionally, the privacy LED light is now bigger and more noticeable. The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses collection camera goes from 5 MP to an ultrawide 12 MP, which takes high-quality photos and immersive 1080p videos in portrait orientation. The discreet open-ear speakers now have increased bass response and noise suppression. Sound is captured by five built-in microphones to support seamless switching between music and calls, while still allowing the wearer to hear the ambient sound of their surroundings and stay attuned to the world around them. The listening experience now includes bass response and noise suppression, enhancing the overall audio quality, according to Ray-Ban. The Ray-Ban Meta collection features 21 styles, colors, and lens variations. They are available in Wayfarer and Wayfarer Large, the most recognizable frame and an icon since the 1950s, along with a new style to Ray-Ban, Headliner, a more inclusive and universal fitting design. Built using the latest optical technology, the high-performance lenses come in a versatile range to match individual style and vision needs, and are available in prescription, sun, clear, polarized or Transitions. For greater personalization, the company added the ability to “Remix” the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, choosing frame color, lens variety and finish and more to create over 130 color and style combinations, available only on Ray-Ban.com. Starting at a suggested entry price of $299 U.S. to the consumer, the Ray-Ban Meta collection comes with a compact, portable charging case. The collection features an improved companion app, Meta View (iOS and Android), offering a seamless way to import content. The enhanced experience allows the wearer to easily share with friends or to any social app on their phone and pair multiple glasses to their phone, managing them in one place. The Ray-Ban | Meta collection is available for purchase on October 17 at Ray-Ban stores, Ray-Ban.com, Meta.com as well as select EssilorLuxottica retail stores including but not limited to: LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Salmoiraghi & Viganò and through the company’s wholesale distribution network in the U.S., U.K., Italy, Ireland, Australia, Canada, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Customers can pre-order the glasses here.