Meta could be making a big pitch to live-streamers with the next iteration of its Ray Ban Stories glasses, based on the latest leaks on new features that are set to be added to the device.
According to a new report from Lowpass, the next version of Meta’s camera-equipped glasses will enable the wearer to stream video directly to Facebook and/or Instagram, while it’ll also include functionality to let viewers speak to you as you stream.
As per Lowpass:
“Live streamers will be able to directly communicate with their audience, with the glasses relaying comments via audio over the built-in headphones. Meta has in the past leaned on Instagram influencers to promote Ray-Ban Stories, and this new feature could be a pretty big draw for that crowd.”
Indeed, many streamers now wander the streets with their phone on a hand-held gimbal, and comments coming through a device speaker. Streamers are incentivized to interact with comments, because users can donate money to have their comments read by an automated voice, increasing the likelihood of a reply.
In public situations, however, this can be problematic, because viewers can pay to have outlandish, and often offensive remarks read aloud. But if streamers could maintain that interaction, and its related revenue stream, via a private speaker, while still being able to interact with the world around them, that could be a big lure for streaming stars.
And more people are seeking to become streamers, following the lead of their favorite web celebrities, who are amassing large followings, and real income, via their live broadcasts. Youngsters growing up consuming this content will increasingly want to try it out for themselves, which could make this a key application for Meta’s smart glasses, if indeed it can enable such a process.
Which seems entirely possible. The current version of Ray Ban Stories already enables users to capture video and listen to music/answer calls via the device, so expanding such to streaming seems like an almost logical step. Technically, this will require some significant development, given the more advanced requirements of continuous video, but it could be the thing that ends up shifting a lot more units, and driving ongoing usage, which has been a major failing of the first version of the device.
Recent 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.
The device is seemingly the precursor to Meta’s full-feed AR glasses, which are still in development, with Meta looking to establish a production pipeline that will eventually expand into that next stage.
But Ray Ban Stories, in itself, could have expanded use, and this new application, for direct streaming, could prove to be a significant pathway, if Meta can get it right.
Meta’s also working on improved privacy tools, as well as adaptive volume elements to improve the audio experience.
The updates may not make the next stage of camera-equipped glasses a must-have for the majority, as such, but simplified content creation, via direct broadcast streaming, and private comments, could be a valuable pathway to increased adoption.