Well this may not be a global seller right now. But the demand for it will increase in the mere future. Smart Glasses are the next big thing that is happening in the technology industry. With the announcement of Apple about its Vision Pro. The smart glasses have captured the attention of some audiences in the mainstream media. While many companies are working to improve this technology. There is a lot to talk about how smart glasses can change the course of how technology will be consumed on a day to day basis in the future.
The normal role of why glasses have been created has taken a giant leap forward in terms of its usage right now. In visual communication devices, glasses have become a main component. With the advent of digital technology growth, it has evolved far more than anyone would have expected.
But what exactly is it? Is it an advanced version of a glass? how does it work? Is it the future?
Well this article will give you a clear insight on everything that is around smart glasses.
1.What Are Smart Glasses?
Smart Glasses are eye or head worn devices that provide wireless connectivity and useful capabilities to the user. You can use these glasses to read messages, answer calls, music, voice assistant and much more. But these are some of the basic features of what smart glasses do. Now, with what the companies are working. The Augmented reality and Virtual reality features added on to these smart glasses. It has a multitude of features. Potentially to replace even all of our gadgets with just these glasses.
Smart glasses usually come with the sensors through which the commands can be identified. And all smart glasses are embedded with a microphone on the side. Through this the voice command of the user can be identified and also helps during talking with someone.
The present glasses companies working on have many lenses to display a larger viewing experience to the customers. But in the phase which it was introduced during the early 2000s, it was not the case. But however the features of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Camera lenses were still present at the first smart glasses introduced by google.
2. Evolution Of Smart Glasses
The evolution of smart glasses goes back to the late 60s. When Ivan Sutherland and Bob Sproull created first VR/AR head mounted display system. It is more of a Augmented reality than Virtual reality. “Sword of Damocles” as it was called was an heavy contraption that was hanging from the ceiling. The graphics were simple that created an environment with wireframe rooms.
90s was a golden period for furthering this technology because of the widespread of Bluetooth technology thanks to Jaap Haarsten. The wireless connectivity has made all the process simpler with enabling short range connections of devices. Then comes the Wi-Fi, advanced camera and a lot of things.
With those coming in place, Philips developed their own smart glasses which had a second version that was way better than its initial launch. It had Wi-Fi capabilities, cameras and a best frames. The first one was bulky and awkward. Another important thing happened in the 2000s era. The scientists found out how to make frames online parts way more easily with the help of 3d printing technology. This was a revolution as it helped to reduce the cost of prototype smart glasses.
Then comes Google, the epitome of what was actually considered as a smart glass. In 2013, they introduced its first version of Augmented Reality assisted smart glasses. This AR version at first was seen to be the perfect hardware to deliver a complete experience to the users. But however, the beta version was a failure as it did not gain much traction. It was mainly because of high price and concerns about privacy. So, they switched their market to enterprises. As smart glasses were highly usable in industrial spaces. The enterprise 2 version that was released in 2019 was the last hope for its survival. But it failed to gain traction. So, Google announced they will no longer manufacture and focuses its shift to Augmented Reality (AR).
We now see smart glasses being used for various purposes. On its fringe of development, at one point of time around 2005. It was seen as a vision to promote better gaming experience only. But now sectors like healthcare, military, industries, gaming etc. use these smart glasses.
The acceptance of this technology is now way better than what it used to be. The estimated US workforce users of smart glasses are more than 14 million. This clearly shows that many people who were initially skeptical about this invention are wrong. However, comparing this to other technologies that are predominant in the industry. It is still a lower number. But one major thing which companies do is switch their focus to wearable headsets that reflects Augmented Reality (AR).
3. Virtual Reality Vs Augmented Reality
These are the two terms that often come up when we are talking about wearable headsets, smart glasses etc. However, they are not the same and have many differences among them.
3.1 What Is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality will take you to another realm of environment from where you are. It gives you the impression that you are somewhere else.
Meta Quest 2, Play Station VR 2 are some of the VR interfaces that are popular. While using them even if it is off, you cannot see outside of what’s happening. The panels that are used in VR either LCD or OLED refract your field of vision. That will block whatever is in your vision once it is turned on.
Comparing to smart glasses these are mostly heavy and mainly for gaming experiences.
3.2 What Is Augmented Reality?
AR adds on your viewing experience to a level where you will see what is there in you field of vision. It adds information to navigate your viewing experience. It is not a virtual world, rather an advanced version of reality.
Google glasses, Microsoft Holo lens are some of the examples of Augmented Reality (AR). It lets you see whatever is in front of you exactly like a pair of normal glasses but only better. 3D decorations and holograms of floating apps are the newest technologies in AR.
However, the displays used in AR tend to be more expensive. It is still in the introduction stage in terms of its acceptance in the consumer market.
4. Apple Vision Pro: Is This The Future?
Apple have finally unveiled their Apple Vision Pro headset which is the talk of the tech industry currently that is designed for a augmented reality future. It has the potential to replace smartphones one day. Apple have made a huge launch of this product which is set to come to market next year.
Based on its features, it has some groundbreaking advancements in the field of AR. The product is sleek and the screen has 64 times the pixel density than the I-phone. The each eye view concept makes it very realistic to use considering the fact that it gives a sense of depth and slight difference in angle from each eye.
It has 3d cameras, IR Illuminators, depth sensors and many more to it. Another important feature of this product is the fact that you don’t need to blink every time you click something. You can use your fingers to do that.
After launching the apple watch, the vision pro AR headset is the next big thing that Apple have introduced as a separate product line. It is so far the biggest thing happened to the AR industry. It has created a whole new viewing experience.
The price of the product is $3,499 and will be available only in US market in 2024. Other places have to wait an extra year.
5. Future Of Smart Glasses
Whenever a new technology comes to the market, it will always be questioned and subjected to negative connotations. Same happened to smart glasses. But if you see now the field has expanded its way into the future and it looks quite promising considering the fact that augmented reality is improving.
The innovations are mainly done keeping in mind to improve the user experience while putting the glasses. These glasses might one day be common among everyone. With improved video recording facilities, data storage, wireless transmission of videos etc. Now smart glasses with AR functionality has greater chance of getting into gaming and educational training.
With many companies now investing in their own wearable solutions, it is positive approach towards the advancement of this technology. But these major companies need to address on certain common obstacles regarding smart glasses. Things like lack of AR development, looks of the glass, privacy issues and battery life are some of the major red flags in the consumer market regarding smart glasses right now. But with larger investment in this technology and as time passes, solution for these problems will come which will boost up the market for smart glasses.