A Bike Ride to Breakwater BBQ
Speaking of favorites, I wanted to try out what I’m voting as the gadget of the year: the Meta Ray Ban Smart glasses
What I really like and use it for is as a bluetooth headset/speaker. There are no tiny pods to push into your ears or giant earmuffs to clamp to your ears. It feels just like an ordinary pair of sunglasses. The magical part is it plays music or podcasts right to your ears and no one else has to hear them - unless you pump up the volume and someone places their ears really close to yours (I don’t have that problem - is it my BO?)
I wear them to listen to podcasts while doing my daily exercises in the park even on the rare overcast day. Folks around me no longer have to suffer through whatever I was blaring out.
But where the smart glasses really shine is when I’m biking. I get to listen to my ectofolk playlist while being fully aware of my surroundings and potential auto whiz-bys. Fortunately or unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to snap a traffic violation but perhaps now I have the option.
Which brings me back to my coastal bike trip and wanting to test my glasses out. It was one of those canonical Sunny California winter days and I couldn’t wish for better conditions.
There were several bridges I had to cross over the swampy parts, and I thought that would make a nice contrast:
Over another bridge, I started recording a one minute video:
Not sure why the glasses can only record up to a minute of video at a time (it comes with 32Gb!) But I guess it’s optimized for Insta Reels.
Here’s a gorgeous vista at the trailhead to the beach:
If you’re looking to save $10, instead of parking in the public lots, look up Google Maps for any residential street, many have short walking/biking paths to the coastal trail.
At the end of my ride, Google maps made a rare mistake of asking me to take a long-winded U-turn instead of just turning right to the entrance of El Granada at Coronado and Cabrillo Highway. The glasses isn’t that great at taking screenshots but you can kind of make it out if you zoom in:
The glasses also comes with an Alexa/Siri-like ability as an assistant, except it uses Meta’s new open weights large language model LLama 2. You say “Hey Meta” and give it a request. If your cellular connection is good, it takes a while and then comes back with a reply I haven’t not found it super useful yet. Maybe, it’ll help me win an argument one day.
I signed up with their Early Access program. It offers an exciting feature where I can ask questions about what I’m looking at. However, so far, it has been quite disappointing. It seems like it has only been trained on Meta employees! I was about 3 miles away from Meta HQ when I made this query:
OK, maybe it didn’t like my accent. But it didn’t do much better when it understood me
Despite these flaws, I love my Meta Rays. My only small wish is to have chosen the pair with transition lenses so that I can wear them indoors. I leave you with this final video wishing it’ll bring you peace and joy.