Meta is adding new features to the smart glasses it offers in collaboration with eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica. The Ray-Ban smart glasses can now make hands-free calls, hear message readouts and send end-to-end encrypted messages with WhatsApp.
Ray-Ban Stories have gained the same features Meta added to Facebook Messenger last year. However, Meta CEO, in a Facebook post announcing the new features, also confirmed that smart glasses users will soon be able to directly reply to Messenger or WhatsApp messages with voice commands.
Users can activate new features using numerous key phrases such as “Hey Facebook, send a message to…” or “Hey Facebook, call…” The Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses will also alert users whenever they receive a new WhatsApp message by saying: “New message on WhatsApp from _____: Is now a good time to talk?”
Although not ready yet, Ray-Ban Stories users would soon be able to directly reply to incoming messages on Messenger and WhatsApp. After the glasses have read out the message, the user could send a reply hand-free by saying: “Hey Facebook, reply”.
Currently, the voice cues and smart phrases seem to be restricted to the English language. However, the company has indicated it plans to expand WhatsApp and Messenger support for French and Italian-speaking Ray-Ban Stories users soon.
The new features are being rolled out in phases. They will be gradually available to all users of Meta Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses through the Facebook View iOS and Android app. Users should also receive an OTA update, which will upgrade the app and firmware of the smart glasses.
Meta has stressed that all personal messages and calls are automatically secured with end-to-end encryption. The company has further assured that a voice assistant merely identifies and understands a voice command related to WhatsApp calling or messaging. No voice transcript or audio is stored on any server. This implies that WhatsApp, Meta, or any third parties, cannot read, listen, record, or process the audio information.