Will AI shades see off the tour guide? Meta and Ray-Ban unveil smart glasses which show


  • Ray-Ban has teamed up with Meta to incorporate AI technology into sunglasses
  • Futuristic glasses will have cameras and be able to answer questions from users  
  • The glasses will cost £245 and will be available in Britain from next month

They are near the top of most travellers’ packing checklists.

And now sunglasses could become even more of a holiday essential thanks to a technology which will see them double as an electronic tour guide.

Luxury brand Ray-Ban has teamed up with Meta – the firm behind Instagram and Facebook – to incorporate AI technology inside the frames. With cameras, microphones and speakers, the glasses will allow the user to ask for information of what they are seeing, or get help translating signs or menus.

Tourists will also be able to share their experiences with friends and family back home by streaming videos live on social media, or sending photos back instantly.

The smart glasses are among the first devices to use Meta’s new AI chatbots – technology which aims to mimic human conversation.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, discusses the partnership with Ray-Ban during the Meta Connect event at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, discusses the partnership with Ray-Ban during the Meta Connect event at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park

The smart glasses come in three colours

The smart glasses come in three colours

The company says the chatbots will have ‘personality’ and be tailored to specialise in certain subjects, such as travel.

Using real-time information cross-referenced against a library of images and data, they will instantly be able to give users feedback on what they are looking at.

However, tour guides who might be fearing for their future will be encouraged by smart glasses’ chequered history. Often touted as ‘the next big thing’, they have been launched unsuccessfully many times over, the latest example being the Google Glass model scrapped earlier this year.

Meta says it is confident that by making its sunglasses stylish and comfortable to wear, it will buck the trend. Product manager Hind Hobeika said: ‘Smart glasses will be an important platform in the future… because soon you’ll be able to let your AI see what you see and hear what you hear.’

The £245 glasses, weighing not much more than an ordinary pair of Ray-Bans, will be available in Britain from next month.



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