HomeMobileCtrl+Alt+Del: Meta's Smart Glasses move is too narrow-minded

OPINION: A frightening trend in consumer technology continues to grow; Here we are not only inundated with new products every month, but we are also encouraged to make them an integral part of our daily lives.

I find it difficult to criticize emerging technology trends because you don’t want to accidentally end up on the wrong side of history. I remember my mother heavily criticizing the first iPhone and saying, “This will never catch on.” Sixteen years later, the word Apple is more synonymous with Tim Cook than the fruit itself.

But you need to approach some products with a healthy skepticism, and that’s how I feel about the slow rise of smart glasses. Amazon recently updated its smart glasses lineup with the Echo Frames (3rd Generation), and now we see Meta and Ray-Ban teaming up once again with the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses.

Ray Ban Meta Glasses 3
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

On the surface, these are exciting announcements. The Meta glasses come with an upgraded Qualcomm AR1 Gen 1 Platform chipset, 12-megapixel camera and 5-microphone system. Ray-Ban’s involvement also means the glasses look good without any sci-fi themes or bulky add-ons; It’s a far cry from the Google Glass disaster.

But when I looked beyond the sleek design, I couldn’t help but be annoyed by the idea of ​​smart glasses as a whole. The announcement of Meta AI, Meta’s new generative AI chatbot, didn’t help. This is similar to having an Alexa or Siri-like entity attached to your face. I’m not sure about you, but I can’t imagine having a conversation with my glasses on while walking down the high street.

It gets even more frustrating when you start considering the camera capabilities of the Meta Smart Glasses. Not only can it be used to take POV photos and videos, but the AI ​​can actually interact with what you see. So technically you can look at a train station sign and ask your glasses where you can go. Again, this sounds revolutionary, but I hope I’m not the only one who thinks I don’t want a faceless AI to “see” what I’m doing throughout the day. And again, you can access all this information using your phone or, heaven forbid, by reading station maps in real life.

Meta is aware that smart glasses carry risks. The company issued a human rights report Last year, it noted “considerable risks” with previous Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses due to their inability to reliably give informed consent for bystanders to be recorded. Likewise with these new glasses, Ray-Ban Stories can record up to a minute of POV footage. But unlike a traditional camera, it’s not immediately obvious through the glasses that anything is being recorded.

Multiple European regulators including Irish Data Protection Commission and Italy’s privacy watchdog grantecommented that the small LED light on the smart glasses is not enough of an indicator that anything is being recorded. The new Meta glasses now have a slightly larger flashing light to alleviate these concerns.

Lewis Ray Ban Meta Glasses
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It seems that the general skepticism towards smart glasses is shared by the public. a report Global Data It shows that demand for this technology on the consumer side is still very low, with some well-funded start-ups even being forced to exit the market altogether. a report Wall StreetJournal it also cites internal data claiming that the first-generation Ray-Ban Stories sold 300,000 units in total but had only 27,000 active monthly users.

Statistics statistics It shows that interest in smart glasses has been growing steadily over the years, but true adoption of the technology is unlikely until all privacy concerns are addressed.

Maybe this is a good thing. There’s something to be said for using smart glasses in situations where using a regular handset isn’t possible (for example, disabled people or motor problems), but the idea of ​​everyone walking around and chatting with their glasses on isn’t exactly welcome. I.

If companies can manage to ease privacy fears, reduce prices to a more manageable number, and provide real reasons for smart glasses to exist, then I think we’ll all have no choice but to jump on the bandwagon. But until then, I’m very happy to put on my regular glasses and continue all my conversations with the real world, because the alternative is too reminiscent of Black Mirror for my comfort levels.

Ctrl+Alt+Del is our weekly computing-focused opinion column where we delve deeper into the world of computers, laptops, components, peripherals, and more. Find it in Trusted Reviews every Saturday afternoon.

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