Many new technologies have promised to change the world. One technology that will change and redefine how humans interact with the physical world is smart glasses, and knowing how they work will help you choose the best type when they become what we believe will be an everyday accessory.
Smart glasses are not just a fancy accessory but cutting-edge technology that promises to influence how we visualize, listen to music, work, and more.
Smart glasses will also greatly enhance people’s lives with sight and hearing disabilities, especially because the current generation offers immersive and interactive experiences that enhance vision and communication.
In this article, we will look at some features of the best smart glasses on the market. We will look at how they work and provide information to help you decide on purchasing.
How Do Smart Glasses Work?
The technology behind smart glasses is still evolving, with most sets of smart glasses only able to do one or two things well. Most smart glasses work with displays, sensors, accelerometers, and a consistently active internet connection.
Some smart glasses have only a small display and larger capacitive speakers to allow you to listen to music without having to put in earphones.
Smart Glasses Technology
Like smart watches, smart glasses are classified as wearable devices. The basic technology for all smart glasses is an internet connection, Bluetooth connectivity, a small visual display, and sensors for eye tracking. In addition, most smart glasses have a small projector or a small screen on only one side of the glasses to give the user real-time visual data.
Smart Glasses AR
In the augmented reality or alternate reality glasses sector, smart glasses bring the virtual world into reality, creating the sense of the digital and physical worlds meshing into one mixed reality.
Types Of Smart Glasses
Apart from AI and AR smart glasses, there are smart glasses that fall into the categories of:
- Only sound
- Mixed reality
- Photo projection
- Monocular smart glasses
Each category of smart glasses intends to offer features that address a specific challenge a potential user may have encountered. However, there’s also the fact that some of these glasses may be trying to solve problems that do not exist.
Features Of Smart Glasses
Most smart glasses come with the features listed below and include:
- AR technology
- AI technology
- GPS tracking,
When these features converge, smart glasses take on a term commonly known as mixed reality smart glasses. Many people have mistakenly bought a set of smart glasses only to find that none of the features they wanted were available with the glasses they purchased. So it’s important to clearly define the features you want your smart to possess, read the product specs carefully and test them extensively before purchase.
Life Monitoring Services with Smart Glasses
In addition to enhancing vision and connectivity, smart glasses can also provide life-monitoring services. These features allow individuals to track their health metrics and monitor activity levels, such as steps taken and distance traveled.
Smart glasses can also have sensors that monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs. This information can be displayed in real-time, allowing individuals to monitor their health status and take appropriate actions if necessary.
What Are Spatial Computing Glasses?
Spatial computing glasses, or SCG, are designed to enable Augmented Reality interaction with the real world. Many glasses with these features allow people to interact with holographic characters or even receive instructions in the real world.
SCGs are still in the early stages of development owing to the physical limitations of microprocessors and power sources. Smart glasses often only include a small amount of SCG and AR. Although small in amount, these features are still powerful and provide users with directions as they drive or walk.
You will often find that the smaller a set of smart glasses are, the less AR and SCG they can perform. However, as smart glasses technology continues to improve, the ability to produce rich AR experiences will drastically increase.
AI Smart Glasses
People can use AI smart glasses to perform tasks, but these glasses are meant for visually impaired people, and they predominantly use Google Glass to identify what is being looked at and automatically speak it back to the user.
These glasses also require the wearer to be always connected to the internet, as this enables data streaming to and from Google servers. AI Smart glasses ultimately enables visually impaired people to accurately know what they are looking at or holding in their hands.
How Does AI Smart Glass Technology For The Blind Work?
Unlike other smart glasses, AI smart glasses do not need a screen that constantly projects things. Instead, you will find that these smart glasses focus on sound quality to allow the user to correctly hear what is in the glass’s field of vision.
Using a camera at the front of the smart glasses, Google’s AI can use image recognition software to determine what is being looked at. This helps those who are clinically blind or have no vision to accurately know what they are looking at or holding in their hands. The ultimate goal of these glasses is to help visually impaired people navigate the world.
Who Makes Smart Glasses And What Are The Best Smart Glasses?
Now that we have a firmer understanding of what smart glasses are and how most of them work, we need to start looking at what companies make smart glasses.
There are now many types of smart glasses that you can choose from, each one with unique features that you can test smart glasses before buying.
Lenovo ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses
The Lenovo ThinkReality A3 smart glasses can be tethered to the nearest computer to expand your workspace into the real world. They allow you to quickly and comfortably increase your screen space and computer interface capabilities without buying more screens.
With three microphones and a full HD screen, these $1500 smart glasses are currently being used in office spaces where space may be limited. We recommend these if you are heavy into design work or constantly working with drawing software instead of gaming or spreadsheets.
Solos Smart Glasses
Focused on the average user, the Solos smart glasses are only $400. They will provide most people with the basics they expect from smart glasses. Charging within a few hours, one microphone, lightweight, and a small screen for basic navigation use wherever you are going.
These are the first set of glasses we recommend for everyday situations. They won’t connect to your computer but can help extend your phone screen beyond your pocket.
Ray-Bans have always been a set of glasses that look better and sit better than most other glasses on the market. With Stories, you get the familiar shape of the glasses with the added technology of smart glasses that can help you extend your smartphone into the real world.
At only $330, these are much more affordable than many other smart glasses on the market, allowing you to choose a style that fits you. It is important to note that these glasses only include a camera and fundamental smart glasses features, which means they are limited in actual use.
Bose Frames Tempo
If you are looking for smart glasses with the most practical feature front and center, you must look at the Bose Frames Tempo Sports. These smart glasses connect to your phone like headphones and provide the best possible sound that can be given through smart glasses.
At $199, these smart glasses are front and center and only provide audio with a few basic features. Ironically these glasses are the best at what they do, providing music and even basic voice navigation while running or exercising.
Vuzix Blade Upgraded Through Amazon
Some types of Smart glasses are meant to be used by company employees. These glasses aim to make life easier by not having to run back to a screen constantly. The Vuzix is an excellent set to buy for warehouse or production environments, providing some basic AR functionality while connected to your phone.
At $1000, these Vuzix Blade glasses have the full smart glasses price connected to them, and most people are still unsure about how to integrate them into a work environment properly. These glasses are best used with AR, microphones, Bluetooth, and cameras when you need to cut out time lost to computer screen time.
Amazon Echo Frames
The second generation of Amazon Echo frames is meant to be used in everyday situations where you may need extra help. This is mainly because the glasses do not offer AR functionality and instead work like an Amazon Echo that is always on you.
With a price tag of around $100, these Amazon Echo Frames glasses are only recommended if you live in a brilliant integrated house. This will allow you to talk and give commands for the house to do what it needs to do instead of only being able to give your phone some orders.
Snap Spectacles 3
If the only requirement for smart glasses were the ability to take pictures, then Snapchat would be one of the first to introduce them to the market. The Spectacles 3 are unique in that they still take pictures but have a few other features that include them in the world of smart glasses.
With a hefty price tag of $380, many are not enthusiastic about buying the Spectacles 3 from Snapchat simply because of the alternatives on the market. We always recommend that you take a moment to consider this, as the Spectacles 3 are only capable of taking pictures, even if they are in 3D.
Razer has been broadening what it does for many years and launched the Anzu specifically to focus on the average office user. The glasses can connect to most Bluetooth-enabled devices to provide audio but will not offer AR or camera functionality.
The Raze Anzu is meant to help you look more natural in office settings while doing video calls and the like. At $60, the Raze Anzu is the most affordable set of smart glasses on the market and allows you to feel comfortable without overspending as you tiptoe into the world of smart glasses.
Will Smart Glasses See Mass Adoption?
Smart glasses will eventually see mass adoption. The first types of smart glasses that may be widely adopted are those that perform basic functions well, such as audio output and visual orientation.
Advanced smart glasses exist in the market, but the purchase cost is way above the price that most people are prepared to pay. Additionally, this doesn’t factor in the cost of maintenance.
For smart glasses to be adopted in mass, they must become more affordable and offer various options that allow people to customize features.
The best smart glasses in this generation of smart glasses technology are the ones that serve a specific purpose and work in the most basic ways, like providing audio or navigation through the lens.
Smart glasses with cameras are still too large and power-hungry to be comfortable for long periods, especially compared to traditional glasses; however, if you find a set that has the potential to make your life easier, then you should at least test them.