Meta’s Ray-Ban smart glasses are getting a huge AI upgrade — what you need to know

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses
(Image credit: Future)

Meta is launching its next-generation AI model, Llama 3, later this year. It will power the virtual assistant in the Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses, allowing the assistant to handle more complex tasks and respond more naturally.

Llama 3 is an open-source model that will also come in smaller sizes that could be installed on local hardware such as phones or smart glasses. It is expected to be as or more  powerful than  OpenAI’s GPT-4.

During an event at the Meta HQ in London, a panel of executives dropped a few hints at what we might see from Meta in terms of AI, including Llama 3, the MetaAI assistant and, of course, the glasses.

Last year the Llama-2-powered MetaAI assistant was upgraded to "see" through the camera of the glasses. This let it offer sartorial and technical advice and that will only get more impressive with Llama 3.

Llama 3 and AI assistants

AI generated image of 3 Llamas on a chip

Llama 3 will be more powerful and multimodal than its predecessor, powering future MetaAI products (Image credit: Adobe Firefly - AI generated for Future)

Llama 3 is a large language model that will come in a range of sizes from very small to compete with the likes of Claude Haiku or Gemini Nano, to larger full responses and reasoning-capable models like GPT-4 or Claude Opus.

The third version of Meta’s model is expected to be more fully multimodal, capable of understanding a range of inputs, including a spatial understanding of the real world, speech and video.

In the near future every single one of our interactions with the digital world will be through AI assistants. Our entire digital diet will be mediated by AI systems."

Yann Le Cun, Meta AI

Combined, this improved immersive understanding will give it a better perspective on the real world and allow Meta to enhance the MetaAI assistant found inside the Ray-Ban smart glasses — building on already launched AI features.

Joelle Pineau, VP of AI Research at Meta said during the London event: “We didn’t set out to make an assistant for glasses. Set out to build interactive AI models that could understand physical space and interactivity in the real world.”

Meta's outspoken Chief AI Scientist, Yann Le Cun, was wearing Ray-Ban glasses during the panel, declaring that they are now his main glasses. He said, "In the near future, every single one of our interactions with the digital world will be through AI assistants. Our entire digital diet will be mediated by AI systems."

MetaAI is coming to the Quest 3

Meta's Quest 3 headset will soon have access to the MetaAI virtual assistant found in the smart glasses

Meta's Quest 3 headset will soon have access to the MetaAI virtual assistant found in the smart glasses (Image credit: Meta)

Meta is doing more with its glasses assistant than having it answer a few questions or take a photo on command. Its ambitions for MetaAI expand into other apps and products including the Quest 3 VR headset.

The panel at the London event revealed that future versions of MetaAI will find its way into Instagram and WhatsApp, plus as a mechanism in Facebook to make it easier to manage large groups.

Make Llama powered Meta AI the most useful assistant in the world.

Joelle Pineau, VP of AI Research

The assistant is built on the open-source Llama 2 but will also be moved to Llama 3 when the next-generation model is ready for the public. The larger training dataset will give it improved reasoning and a deeper understanding.

“MetaAI will become a general assistant that can take in information and provide support users want. It is coming to Quest 3 soon,” Pinaeu explained. She added this would be along with other products such as WhatsApp.

Meta's Yann Le Cun wearing the Ray-Ban smart glassess

(Image credit: Meta)

She said the goal is to “Make Llama-powered Meta AI the most useful assistant in the world.”

Having tried the Meta Ray-Ban glasses for the first time, I'm going to seriously consider getting a pair instead of a normal, boring frame when my prescription changes.

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Ryan Morrison
AI Editor

Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover. When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?