My Meta Apple Memories: What Way Should I Record My Life? – CNET

Walking around Disney World for four days straight, you could hear me discussing two things nonstop: my step count and the battery life on my glasses. For most of the trip, I was wearing Meta’s Ray-Bans. To remember my trip as it was happening.

I snap a lot of photos and videos on my phone (maybe too much). I try to get away from it. Even so, I still recorded videos on my phone in 3D. I knew when I got home, I could relive my trip through those spatial video clips on an Apple Vision Pro (or a Meta Quest).

My memories are split across devices. I have a glasses-worn recording mode and a headset-based reliving mode.

Meta Ray-Ban glasses next to Apple's Vision Pro headset Meta Ray-Ban glasses next to Apple's Vision Pro headset

Meta’s Ray-Bans are small and feel great to wear — they’re truly outdoor-friendly — but they need frequent recharging. The Vision Pro doesn’t last that long on a charge, either.

Scott Stein/CNET

Meta Glasses: The Perfect Form, Imperfect Battery

I’d never capture moments of my family with a Vision Pro on my face, but I would (and have) worn Meta’s Ray-Ban glasses to capture life moments while I’m living them. The Vision Pro is a mixed-reality headset that’s big, battery-tethered and not meant for outdoor use. Meta’s smart glasses don’t do nearly as much, but they’re far smaller, lighter weight, feel nearly normal and are entirely made to live in the real world.

Everyone uses their phone as a camera, but sometimes I prefer not to keep doing that. Also, Apple’s spatial video format insists you record in landscape mode, i.e. holding the phone sideways. You can’t just hold your phone vertically. That’s rough at a place like Disney, for example.

Meta’s glasses are voice-activated and the camera is surprisingly decent. Still, shots tend to blur more easily sometimes compared to my iPhone and the wider-angle lens means shots don’t always get framed the way I want them. Plus, I can’t preview the shots on the glasses. Meta’s glasses just have speakers, microphones and a camera, but no displays.

That also means I’m less worried about living through my screen. When I shoot on a phone, I find I’m not looking at the world around me with my own eyes. Meta’s glasses encourage me to just look around, live and be in the moment.

A good example: I took Meta’s glasses with me when my kids were sledding, and I could keep my phone in my pocket. I could capture myself sledding, too. At Disney World, I could just wander around and take spontaneous shots whenever I felt the urge: voice-activated or pressing the shutter button.

It gets so much better for video capture. The glasses are limited to a minute of recording at a time, but I could record my rides on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Tron and Rise of the Resistance without feeling like I was distracting anyone or holding up my phone. I also didn’t risk losing my phone.

I might have been distracting people. The glasses have a small white light that turns on while recording to notify others, and on dark rides, it must have been visible.

The battery life is also imperfect. Meta’s glasses run out of juice when I use them a fair amount, and then I need the glasses case to recharge. Since they’re prescription glasses, it means I need to swap out for another pair of glasses, which I need to keep with me. That meant I was without magic camera glasses for a while or even the rest of the day.

The video recordings are wonderful to watch later on, although they’re vertical and don’t look great on a big TV, but are better for social. Still, they’re a document of my life, and as I flip through my first-person ride captures and my walks around Disney, I appreciate them.

Note that Meta’s glasses don’t record 3D spatial video. 

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