The Stories glasses from Meta and Ray-Ban will now feature WhatsApp, enabling users to make hands-free calls, send text messages, and hear messages read aloud. According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, users will soon be able to directly react to WhatsApp and Messenger texts using voice commands as well. The addition comes after the launch of similar Facebook Messenger features last year.
The brand-new features, some of which were partially disclosed in April, better integrate Stories into the Meta ecosystem. They continue Meta’s efforts to go beyond social networking into virtual and augmented reality.
Additionally, they could serve as a band-aid after Meta postponed the release of its full line of consumer AR glasses by developing audio-focused AR using its current hardware range. It is imitating businesses like Bose, which debuted and subsequently discarded a pair of augmented reality (AR) audio glasses, and Amazon’s Echo Frames. Of course, Stories still have their main function, which is to take pictures and videos to upload to Facebook.
However, for the time being, the new feature won’t have much of an impact on many WhatsApp users since Stories are only available in a few major WhatsApp markets, such as India and Brazil, namely the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia.