Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories 2 could be imminent

Ray-Ban Stories in charging case
(Image credit: Ray-Ban)

With Meta reportedly scaling back its hardware ambitions due to economic pressures, you might not expect Ray-Ban Stories to be in line for a second generation. Especially as the Wall Street Journal reported a year ago that the smart glasses were not in regular use by 90% of early adopters. 

But Lowpass’ Janko Roettgers has long claimed that a second generation is on the way, and he’s now spotted what seems to be an FCC database listing for them, suggesting a release could be imminent.  

The listing is attributed to the Luxottica Group — which is the same tag on the listing for the first-generation Ray-Ban Stories — and Roettgers notes the listed support of Wi-Fi 6. This “really only makes sense if you want to transfer a lot of data”, he writes, “perhaps in real time.”

That’s a reference to what Lowpass’ earlier report claims to be the smart glasses’ big new feature. According to internal documents reviewed by Roettgers, the second-generation glasses will aid streamers by “relaying comments via audio over the built-in headphones”. 

In other words, if you’re live streaming on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be able to respond to viewers in real time as you hear their feedback. That’s a big step up over the original shades which can capture photos and short video clips, but don’t offer any sort of live-streaming support. 

Elsewhere, the previously mentioned Wall Street Journal report stated that the second generation would feature improved battery life and better cameras. Not exactly unexpected upgrades, but welcome all the same.

That report anticipated a launch in spring or fall of next year, but the FCC listing suggests that we may see something far sooner than that. 

We already know that Meta is planning to show off its Quest 3 VR headset at its Connect conference at the end of the month, so perhaps we’ll see Ray-Ban Stories 2 getting an outing at the same time. Back in July, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth suggested that the company would have something to share “pretty soon”, so that feels plausible. 

“I love my Ray-Ban Stories that exist today,” he said in the Instagram AMA. “The ones that we have under development are even more exciting.”

In our 3.5-star Ray-Ban Stories review, we praised the look and feel, while being a bit concerned at how well the cameras were concealed. But our own Kate Kozuch found them a good companion on a family vacation due to the frictionless way you can capture memories.

“Can the Ray-Ban Stories replace my phone for taking photos and videos on vacation?” she wrote. “Not entirely — I still needed my phone for indoor and nighttime content capture. But will I take them on my next vacation? Definitely.”

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.