Meta CTO expects Ray-Ban smart glasses will be ‘underrespected’

Speaking with Andrew "Boz" Bosworth during a media roundtable at Meta Connect 2023

Meta Connect 2023 Boz

During the latest annual Meta Connect conference, Meta focused on three major products: its Meta Quest 3 VR headset, a suite of new AI features led by the Meta AI conversational assistant, and 2nd-Gen smart glasses from Ray-Ban.

Given the company’s vision for the ‘metaverse,’ there’s a naturally higher level of attention being given to the Meta Quest 3 compared to some of Meta’s other products and services.

But if you ask Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Meta’s chief technology officer (pictured above), more eyes should also be on the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. During a media roundtable attended by MobileSyrup at Meta Connect 2023, Bosworth was asked what he thinks is the highlight of Connect.

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses front

While Bosworth was naturally quick to praise all three product areas that were featured, he gave a special shoutout to the Ray-Ban glasses. The smart glasses allow you to capture photos and videos (now with 12-megapixels cameras vs. the last-gen pair’s 5-megapixel shooters), livestream directly to Instagram and Facebook, listen to music, have conversations with the new Meta AI and more.

“The smart glasses are the piece of news that I think is probably the most likely to go underrespected,” he said. “I think they’re a meaningful improvement over the previous generation. I think people are quick to make comparisons to things that come before, but I don’t think it’s really a fair comparison — [there hasn’t been] anything that looked as good and worked as well.”

Later, Bosworth elaborated on what he likes about the second-gen eyewear, particularly with respect to the AI integration.

“When you’re thinking of AI models, one of the things that are actually kind of annoying, for me, is I get my phone out and I type in the prompt, and I wait for the response. And it’s really not what I want to do — I really want to be able to ask the question. And so we’re doing that.” He added, “I do think it’s quite a better way to answer the types of questions that AI today is pretty good at answering.”

As an example of that, this year’s Meta Connect featured a video of F1 driver Charles Leclerc using the new smart glasses as he went about his day, capturing his moment-to-moment driving, exercise and exploring foreign countries. More practical everyday uses, though, include recording yourself making a good shot in mini-golf or someone blowing out candles on a birthday cake.

Bosworth said the smart glasses platform as a whole will also play a key role in Meta’s vision for the metaverse. To start, when asked why we didn’t hear about the metaverse, specifically, at Connect, Bosworth noted that it was meant to be a “very long-term vision that kind of matures unevenly” in various aspects.

“The metaverse vision is one that [CEO] Mark [Zuckberg] has created an intention around that is a clear and distant vision for us. It’s one you can certainly see parts of taking shape — Horizon and Avatars, which we didn’t cover much [at Connect],” said Bosworth. “But if you have been paying attention, Horizon is going nuts. People are loving [the online game] Horizon Worlds, [first-person shooter] Super Rumble, [co-op action-adventure game] Citadel is phenomenally popular. The Avatars are making tremendous progress — they’re hugely popular on WhatsApp, on Instagram, on Messenger, and on Facebook. VR adoption steadily continues. And so there are a lot of pieces that are really making progress.”

He said that will culminate in augmented reality-powered smart glasses. “Ultimately, augmented reality glasses, where you have Mark’s vision of Codec Avatars [3D human faces] and artificial intelligence co-present in the room with all of us wearing smart glasses […] I think we still really believe in it.”

The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses launch in Canada on October 10th, starting at $369. Pre-orders are available on Meta’s website, and you can also read our full hands-on impressions here.