Audience member G.O. Burton watches the Meta Connect Developer Conference keynote while wearing … [+]
AFP via Getty Images
Watching a livestream feels a bit dated these days.
For one thing, the technology involved has been around for a while. I remember watching a livestream of a graduation ceremony almost a decade ago, and the basic concept has not changed. Usually, you need a phone or a camera system like the SlingStudio to make it all work.
Recently, Meta announced an improved version of the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses. The new model lets you talk to an AI bot and are more comfortable to wear.
The one feature that caught my eye has to do with livestreams. When the product comes out October 17, we’ll be able to stream directly from the glasses to Facebook or Instagram with just a quick double-tap on the stem. Meta announced that you can also view comments using the smart glasses and even listen to live comments.
That quick access using smart glasses that you are already wearing (as opposed to fishing out your phone and finding the livestream option in the app) could be a game changer. While the idea of recording videos or snapping photos from smart glasses is not exactly new, the livestream feature will make it so easy to share live video that it might become more popular — or at least a bit more common.
There’s a few hurdles to making that happen, though.
One is obvious — not many of us are wearing glasses all day. For someone like me who wears them anyway, it makes more sense. It’s not by accident that these are also available as sunglasses, which should appeal to anyone who happens to be outside.
A second hurdle is that, in my experience, anything you wear to record video can produce strange results. At a tech conference a few years back, I wore a little recording device on my shirt and snapped photos and recorded video clips all day. Most of them didn’t turn out. With glasses, at least you are looking in the direction of the recorded video, but sudden head movements and other factors might not be the best for a livestream. At an outdoor concert, you might not want to do a recording for longer than one song, preferring to be able to glance around instead.
I like the idea of spontaneous recording, though. There’s not as much of a delay since you don’t have to grab your phone, open the app, hunt around for the livestream option, and start recording. At a skatepark on a sunny day, if you see a family member doing a cool new trick, you can do a quick double-tap to start the livestream for anyone to see.
This type of “in the moment” recording could change how we use social media. Some of the most amazing moments in life happen in an instant — the arc of the sun as you drive along a road, a toddler taking a few steps for the first time. By the time most of us say “grab a phone” those moments are gone, in a split second.
I’ll be curious to try the device and see if spur of the moment livestreams, video, and photos are easier to capture, at least for outdoor use. If the product is successful and we start seeing more livestreams, I could see the idea catching on quickly.
We’ll see if that happens.