I wore these smart glasses for a year to record my memories — here's what happened

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses worn by Tom's Guide editor John Velasco
(Image credit: Future)

Apple’s poised to have a big showing next year with the release of its mixed reality headset: the Apple Vision Pro. One particular feature that intrigues me is its ability to record spatial video, which you can do as well with the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. These videos are dynamic in the sense that they have depth when you watch them through the Apple Vision Pro, resulting in an experience that puts you back into that moment as if you were there.

It’s all really cool, like the stuff you see in movies, but it’s really not practical — or the most intuitive way of recording memories. Well, not yet. If you’re not recording with an iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max, then you’re relying on the 3D cameras of the Apple Vision Pro to record video. I hope I don’t see a drove of people wearing Apple Vision Pros in public. That would be ridiculous.

Instead, there’s a better, more practical way of recording memories. It’s with Ray-Ban Meta’s smart sunglasses. And you know what? I’ve been using them for a year to record all of my favorite life memories. Best of all, they look like a normal pair of glasses.

Distraction free recording that keeps you in the moment

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses worn by Tom's Guide editor John Velasco.

(Image credit: Future)

I’ve been wearing the original Ray-Ban Stories smart sunglasses since March 2022, only to recently swap it out for the newer Ray-Ban Meta this past fall. When it’s sunny out, I usually wear the pair with polarized lenses to shield my eyes from the sun — while switching to another pair with transitional lenses when it’s nighttime or when I’m indoors. I suggest getting the Ray-Ban Meta with transitional lenses because of its flexibility to adjust for daytime and nighttime use.

I’ve worn them for just about every day in the last year to record the ordinary and bizarre. From candid moments that happen in a blink of an eye, to behind the scenes looks at what I’m working on, I love how the Ray-Ban Meta smart sunglasses give me a distraction-free experience.

I know the best camera phones offer superior video quality, but then I’m forced to be taken out of the moment. I want to experience my life experiences with minimal distractions, and the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses do exactly that. With a press of a button (or voice command), I can instantly record memories from my perspective.

Quick and easy video editing

Ray-Ban Stories app

(Image credit: Ray-Ban)

Another underappreciated feature of Ray-Ban Meta’s smart sunglasses doesn’t have anything to do with the hardware. Rather, it’s with the Meta View app and its ability to easily stitch highly editing clips I can share on my social media.

As a videographer, I know how it can often be a painstaking process to go through several videos to trim out the best stuff. With the Meta View app, it accepts upwards of 10 clips I’ve recorded with the smart glasses and produces a 30-second video complete with slick transition effects. Seriously, it makes it look as though a pro video editor took the time to edit them.

I just wish there were a bit more editing controls at my disposal to fine tune the video to my liking, along with the option to choose how long I want the edited video to be. But despite that, I have to admit that the editing work is top notch.

My memory will fade away, but videos last forever

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses worn by Tom's Guide editor John Velasco.

(Image credit: Future)

We take our memories for granted. I’m at the age where I’m having difficulty recalling what I did this past weekend. It takes me time to remember them, but thankfully I’m eventually able to. That’s why the Ray-Ban Meta smart sunglasses are what I prefer most to capture memories from my vantage point.

Whenever I rewatch my videos, it’s from my first-person view — which exemplifies that feeling of literally being in my shoes to that very moment I recorded that memory. I have over a year’s worth of memories that I’ve captured with them and I cannot be more thankful because they will last forever, even decades down the road when I’m old and forgetful. There’s something truly magical about video: how glimpsing a short snippet can reignite the memory to picture perfect clarity.

From seeing old friends I haven’t seen in person since the pandemic, to happy moments I share with my family, the Ray-Ban Meta smart sunglasses have been part of them all. While I’m sure spatial video will make for a more dynamic experience of reliving memories, it won’t replace my Ray-Bans as my preferred choice for everyday life. 

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.