Smartglasses are making a comeback. This isn’t to mean that they were completely out of the conversation though. The challenge with this wearable is that, just like with smartwatches, fashion is an important function. Actually, emphasis on the fashion aspect is of even more consequence than with the watches since this is a piece of technology that’s strapped to the face.
At the moment there is really nothing in the smartglasses market that you can happily have on daily. Google Glass was the pioneer in this field, even though the smartglasses have been more of a concept than a released product. However, there seems to be change coming in this field with new contenders making a case for their offerings as we all keep hoping for a second attempt by Google.
Radar Glasses by Oakley
Oakley’s smartglasses branded Radar glasses target the sports and fitness market segment. Popular among cyclists and runners, the glasses don’t display information on the glass but supply information to the users via the earpieces. The impressive bit about the Radar glasses is the language processing technology dubbed Real Audio by Intel. This feature allows you to converse in a natural manner and makes you comfortable when speaking to them as it is also very intuitive.
The design of the smartglasses is on a fashionable Oakley frame and lens which gives you a good look when you have them on. Their work out information is also useful and specific and conveniently provided to your ear without having to raise your wrist or take your phone out.
Spectacles by Snapchat
They can be said to be the weirdest among the smartglasses in the market but their functionality makes them of interest to tech enthusiasts. Imagine not having to take out your phone to snap up any moment in the day because you could do the same with your glasses. Other than the look of the glasses which may be a deal-breaker for some, their functionality makes it feel like having a GoPro on all through.
Expected challenges for this piece of tech are privacy issues that Google Glass also faced but that’s not something the young users are concerned about much. Snap Inc may make something big out of this but they are definitely not a product for everyone.
SmartEyeGlass Attach by Sony
The SmartEyeGlass Attach is yet to move from the concept stage and we are all hoping the design can be refined before release. This wearable, like most among the smartglasses, is targeted towards the business and enterprise market segment. Fashion doesn’t have much weight in this segment and that has stalled their popularity in the mainstream.
The SmartEyeGlass Attach incorporates an OLED microdisplay and also has a control board containing an ARM processor. The gadget features Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth 3.0 and has a 400mAh battery to power it up. Sony has come in with a very nice pair of glasses but the attached extension will definitely attract weird stares from passers-by.
These are fitness smartglasses by the University of Southern California in collaboration with VSP Global, who were also involved with Google Glass. Level look like a normal pair of spectacles but incorporate frame embedded sensors such as an accelerometer. They also feature a gyroscope and a magnetometer which are used to monitor distance, steps taken, active time and calories burned. Data from the sensors is availed to the user via a smartphone app that tracks certain point goals and offers rewards. The rewards for attaining the goal targets include a free eye exam or a pair of glasses for those in need.
A consumer pilot research for the Level fitness smartglasses is planned for December. This is following the launch of their prototype in 2015. The results of the pilot research should be revealed in 2017 with expectations of the products release not much later after that.
Meme by Jins
The Japanese tech firm Jins unveiled its Meme brand of smartglasses in 2015 but they haven’t been released for sale to date yet. The specs don’t use an augmented reality (AR) experience and instead use bio-sensing to identify changes in the user’s eye and body movements. This function is used to track and alert on fitness, health and safety proving useful for drivers who may be dozing off.
Electrodes in the glasses frames and nose pads detect eye movement and blinks while the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors monitor walking patterns and body axis. This is useful in improving the posture of the user.
The array of features available on smartglasses varies from first-person photo and video capture to facial recognition of people you meet. Others also offer turn-by-turn direction and fitness tracking. What is certain is that the invasion of the smartglasses is here and we should be prepared to be wowed by all it will bring along.