When the new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses were revealed I thought that they looked pretty cool (and being Ray-Bans, super stylish) but was in no way interested in grabbing a pair, I was far more concerned with the Meta Quest 3. But, having used a pair at T3 Towers, I'm all in on the shades.
Smart glasses are fundamentally a cool piece of tech, but they're also a bit concerning. The idea of everyone wearing a camera on their face, and not knowing when they're taking a picture, is a bit too 1984 for me to get involved.
The new 12MP camera (located on the left side of the glasses) on the Ray-Ban Meta glasses is activated by pressing a button on the right arm of the glasses, a pretty discreet action that's easy to miss, save for the bright LED that comes on in the right corner of the frame. That's a useful warning that's pretty hard to miss, but I was concerned about those with less than honourable intentions covering or finding ways to diminish the flash.
It looks like Meta felt the same way. I was pleasantly surprised to find that if you obscure the camera and take a picture, the light will still come on (you'll just have a terrible picture) but crucially, if you try to obscure the light but not the camera, you won't be able to capture photos. Instead, you'll even receive a notification on the phone app telling you to check the sensor to make sure it's visible to others. Brilliant.
While it might stop you from feeling like a Bond-style superspy, people have a right to know when they're being filmed or photographed. This is a major step up from the first generation of the glasses, where the only real defence to obscuring the LED indicator was Meta claiming that it broke the terms of service.
One element of privacy I do appreciate about the glasses however is just how impressively they stop sound from leaking out. Now no-one will know I'm listening to Taylor Swift instead of them.