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Meta Adds Enhanced Voice Controls to Ray Ban Stories

Meta integrates enhanced voice controls into Ray Ban Stories. Users can now reply to messages and play Spotify music just by speaking.

Meta Adds Enhanced Voice Controls to Ray Ban Stories.

Ray Ban Stories, a product of Meta's collaboration with the sunglass maker, are receiving a few enhancements. Although the digitally-equipped glasses, which can take photos, play audio, and more, don't delve into augmented reality (AR) yet, the new additions may pique some users' interest.

One of the key upgrades is the integration of voice commands into the system. Users can respond to incoming WhatsApp, Messenger, and text messages just by speaking. As per Meta, once a message is read aloud, a user can simply say "Hey Facebook, reply" and proceed to dictate their response. This functionality extends to initiating new messages on WhatsApp, Messenger, or text through a single voice command. For example, saying, "Hey Facebook, send Jasmine a message on WhatsApp: can't wait for spring break" will prompt the glasses to confirm the message before sending it. This new feature, while potentially peculiar to observers, might be useful for quick replies on the move.

Furthermore, Meta plans to enhance the natural-sounding engagement of its voice commands, making them more conversational and responsive. Instead of just "Send a message," users can frame requests like, "Ask Martha if she wants to come to the party" or "Tell David I love him." The glasses are capable of understanding that a message is intended and can even determine the punctuation of the outgoing message based on context cues. This feature is designed to improve the utility of the device, which can be beneficial in certain circumstances.

Meta is also integrating Spotify controls for Android, already available on iOS, which allows users to play music through the device. Additionally, Meta accounts are being rolled out to Ray-Ban Stories, enabling users to log into their smart glasses without a Facebook account.

Although these updates are not substantial, they represent incremental progress in developing the device. Meta's highly anticipated AR glasses, still reportedly under development, may see light in a few years, aligning with Meta's metaverse vision. The product roadmap outlines the next significant update for Ray Ban Stories glasses, slated for a 2025 launch. The glasses will include a 'viewfinder' feature for reading incoming text messages within the user's field of view. Other features will include QR code scanning capacity and hand controls for navigating the display.

A full AR version is expected to launch in 2027, marking a significant milestone for Meta's wearable projects by integrating digital experiences into everyday life. However, Meta's efficiency push may affect this plan. Despite the company's plan to cut over 20,000 staff, it continues to invest heavily in next-level developments. Given the alignment with the metaverse, it seems that the next stage of smart glasses will remain a priority.

While the current updates might not cause a surge in Ray Ban Stories sales, they are essential steps in the steady evolution of the device. And let's not forget, they do look cool!