Smart glasses have long been the territory of science fiction and spy movies, but in recent years they have begun to become a reality. With advancements in augmented reality, smart glasses are now able to offer users an immersive experience that blends the digital and physical worlds. These glasses feature built-in cameras, displays and sensors which provide users with real-time information and visuals, making them an important tool for a variety of industries such as healthcare, logistics, and construction.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most advanced smart glasses for augmented reality that are available on the market today.
1. Microsoft HoloLens 2
Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 is a widely-recognized leader in augmented reality smart glasses. These glasses have a field of view of 52 degrees which is wider than its predecessor and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform. The glasses come with an array of sensors including an environmental sensing, eye-tracking, and hand tracking which makes it easy to interact with digital objects. This AR smart glasses also comes with a voice-activated personal assistant powered by Microsoft’s Cortana which can assist with tasks such as scheduling appointments, sending emails, and accessing files.
2. Google Glass Enterprise Edition
Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is designed for use in industrial settings, retail, and healthcare. This AR glasses enable hands-free working for workers, enabling them access to instructions and data without taking their hands off their work. Glass features an 8-megapixel camera and a touchpad on the temple arm that allows users to control the screen. The glasses also allow for voice command and Google Assistant integration. This design is made by Google in partnership with Smith Optics, a well-known brand in eye-wear technology.
3. Vuzix Blade
The Vuzix Blade AR smart glasses utilize waveguide technology and are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip. The glasses have a built-in camera for image and video capture and a touchpad for control. It also features an integrated head tracker, GPS, and a mic and speaker for communication. The battery lasts for four hours and the storage capacity is 32GB. It supports both voice command and hand gestures to interact with various apps including music, weather, and fitness apps.
4. Epson Moverio BT-300 AR
The Epson Moverio BT-300 smart glasses are lightweight and feature a wraparound design. These glasses offer a 23-degree field of view and project images onto both lenses. The glasses are powered by the Intel Atom processor and utilize Epson’s patented silicon-based OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) displays for high brightness and contrast. The Moverio BT-30000 utilizes motion and gaze tracking to control actions such as scrolling and selecting menu items, and also features voice recognition.
5. Magic Leap One
Magic Leap One glasses are a combination of digital and physical world experience. The glasses use photonics which projects lights and images directly into user’s eye. The result is what Magic Leap calls ‘spatial computing’, where digital images blend seamlessly into the real world. The glasses include voice command, gesture control, and eye tracking. They also come with six degrees of freedom (6DoF) to allow for more robust motion tracking. However, one of the downsides of this model is its price, which is considered prohibitive for many.
Q: Are smart glasses only for industrial use?
A: No, smart glasses have a broad range of uses including healthcare, logistics, entertainment, and education. Some models like Magic Leap One and Vuzix Blade have more multimedia and entertainment-friendly features, while Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 and Microsoft HoloLens 2 are designed for enterprise use.
Q: How do smart glasses work?
A: Smart glasses work by utilizing augmented reality technology in which virtual graphics, texts, and images are superimposed over the real world. They come built-in with displays, sensors, and cameras that enable users to interact with digital content in real-time.
Q: Can I wear smart glasses throughout the day?
A: Smart glasses have a battery life that varies from model to model. The average battery life can last from 4-6 hours. However, it’s important to give your eyes a rest so as not to strain them. Smart glasses also come with volume control, so it is recommended to avoid high audio levels to reduce ear pain while using them.
Q: Do these glasses fit everyone?
A: Some smart glasses come with adjustable nose-pads, temple arms and other features that allow for a more secure and comfortable fit on various head sizes. However, it is still necessary to check sizing options before buying to ensure the best possible fit.
Q: Can I use smart glasses without a phone?
A: Most models of smart glasses require a smartphone or tablet to function. They connect to the smartphone via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or through a cable. However, newer models such as the Magic Leap One do not require a smartphone, as they have built-in processors and Wi-Fi connectivity.
In conclusion, smart glasses bring a wide range of benefits to a variety of industries, including healthcare, logistics, and construction. With the increasing demand for remote work and telemedicine caused by Covid-19, Smart glasses offer a more convenient, efficient and safer solution for workers, helping people to virtually carry their workplace along with them anytime, anywhere. With the continuous advancements in this technology, it is expected that smart glasses will continue to transform the way we work and enhance our experiences in daily life as we know it.