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Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses can identify landmarks now and tell you about them

Traveling to a new city? Meta's Ray-Bans can be your AI-powered tour guide.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses ZDNET
June Wan/ZDNET

Heading out of town? Starting this week, Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses will be your virtual tour guide of sorts thanks to a new feature.

The feature, which is currently in beta, would allow a user to simply look at a landmark to learn what it is. The built-in Meta AI not only identifies what the wearer is looking at, but offers up history and other interesting information about the structure.

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Landmark recognition was announced in a Threads post from Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth. In the post, a wearer is looking at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. The glasses not only identify the bridge but offer that the iconic orange color, called International Orange, was chosen to make the bridge easier to see in fog. After glancing at the Painted Ladies, a row of colorful Victorian homes, the wearer learns the homes were all built between 1892 and 1896.

Mark Zuckerberg followed up with an Instagram post showing the feature working on the Roosevelt Arch in the mountains of Montana.

Meta didn't offer many additional details, and didn't explain where this feature might work, but given it was shown off functioning in two diverse locations, it would likely work on any major landmark or building. 

This feature is in beta, but any user can apply to get on the list.  "If you don't have access," Bosworth wrote, "you can add yourself to the waitlist while we work to make this available to more people."

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Bosworth also added that new functionality is on the way to easily share your latest Meta AI interaction via text message, WhatsApp, or Messenger.

Meta's current Ray-Ban smart glasses debuted just last year and cost $299. While they offer a significant technological leap over the company's first attempt, a third version of the Meta smart glasses, which focuses more on AR, is expected later this year.

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