I don’t want to forget. But I do forget. I forget what I did over the weekend. I forget the details of my just-a-month-ago vacation. I forget my dad’s constant advice of getting life insurance while you’re young. I used to long for a photographic memory. Then I bought one.
My photographic memory takes the form of a pair of Wayfarers with cameras embedded in the frames. Ray-Ban Stories, which were first released in late 2021, are the anti-Google Glass. They capture the present so I can bring it with me to the future. Unlike so many quasi-functional augmented reality products, they don’t turn that future into a distraction from the present.
Since I got my Stories, I’ve made it a point to wear them as much as possible. I’ve collected memories. It felt weird at first, because unlike using my smartphone to record video, this was way more discreet. It also felt intrusive. The law in New Jersey permits recording people in public places without their explicit consent, but it still feels weird even if you have no voyeuristic intent. We all record constantly, but memories disappear faster than Snapchats. And we rely on that. Our behavior reflects that.
Remembering everything feels great, but also seems rude. Retaining everything feels like hoarding.
But the capturing turns out to be the least interesting part of the process. Stories help me organize and share memories. That’s the truly compelling feature.
(It’s also worth pointing out that the Ray-Ban Stories also make a decent pair of wireless earbuds for listening to music or taking phone calls. Since my car’s stereo system doesn’t have Bluetooth, I rely on my Stories to give me turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps.)
I save happy hour toasts with my fiancé and deep conversations I have with loved ones to my private albums on Facebook, which Stories requires that you join. These albums are only accessible to me and a handful of nerds in Palo Alto. Do they watch me talking to my cat? Do they watch me perform Instagram boomerangs on cheese pulls? Do they watch me weave in and out of traffic with my e-scooter whenever I’m in the city? I honestly don’t care. They are drowning in the data of banality; what’s another drop?
I’m just happy not to have to pay for more Google Drive or iCloud storage. There’s technically no limit on Facebook. (Though there probably will be if Meta’s stock doesn’t maintain the rebound.) The video and audio files – noticeably higher quality than what other so-called smart glasses capture – pile up like so many prized DVDs.
I watch my Ray-Ban Stories clips on the anniversary of when I uploaded them because the social networking platform sends reminders with Facebook Memories. In a way, capturing and cataloging these clips eases my worries about what fades (myself included). But the best part is that I’m never distracted by the moment. My glasses aren’t rose-colored, but they are trained on what’s in front of me. That’s enough.
I don’t always know where I’m going. I don’t always know where I’ve been. It’s nice to have the help.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ray Ban Stories Glasses
Are Recordings Or Photos Automatically Shared?
Photos or videos are never shared or uploaded without my direct commands. Instead, they live locally on my iPhone 14 Pro Max after they’ve been wirelessly transferred. From there, however, it’s up to you on what you want to do with the content.
How Long Is The Battery Life On The Ray-Ban Stories?
The manufacturer states six hours of moderate use, or up to 3 hours of continuous audio streaming. In my experience, I’ve managed to get close to eight hours from a full charge, but I’ve been limiting recordings to about 15 seconds.
Are Ray-Ban Stories Considered Smart Glasses?
Yes, but only to an extent. “Smart glasses” is a marketing language that covers a lot of area, referring to augmented reality glasses and Bluetooth sunglasses for music listening. Some smart glasses also offer access to voice assistants. Ray-Ban Stories are connected to Facebook Assistant for voice commands to record video, place phone calls, and control some media functions.
Are Ray-Ban Stories Waterproof?
Technically they’re not, but I’ve worn them in a drizzle and they were fine. I wouldn’t wear them during a steady storm.
Are Ray-Ban Stories Polarized?
If you want them to be. Polarized lenses cost $30 more and are, in my opinion, worth it.