You have heard about smartphones, smartwatches, smart bands, smart cars, smart locks, etc. What you might not have heard is smartglasses. Augmented reality smartglasses are the next big wearable technology expected to filter into your daily lives. Both startups and big tech companies are working tirelessly to make this a reality.
Google Glass introduced this concept but failed to break into the mainstream. Apple and Facebook are rumored as the next giants to join the AR-enabled eyewear business.
This article will consider what AR smartglasses are and the best AR smartglasses.
AR Smartglasses Explained
Augmented reality smartglasses is eyewear where technology merges what you see in the real world and virtual information on a glass lens. That means the wearer gets additional information alongside what they see. These are wearable computer glasses that change their optical properties at runtime.
These glasses have the enhancement of reality with digital overlays but vary in size, shape, and design. People invest in these glasses because they want their actual experiences augmented with data and helpful information. For instance, a wearer of AR smartglasses in a stadium sees more information than one wearing ordinary glasses. They can see pertinent stats, player data, and scores. Another wearer walking down the street looking for a place to eat gets additional information like restaurant ratings and reviews.
Until recently, AR glasses were wildly expensive and experimental, but these prices have come down dramatically. Also, more and more companies are expected to join the marketplace, and increased competition will push design and innovation up and lower the cost of acquiring one.
Best AR Smartglasses
Vuzix Blade Upgraded
The brand employs waveguide technology on its smartglasses. It projects a full-color HD display on the right lens. The Blade was the first useful commercial AR glasses that look like actual pair of glass. In fact, one might confuse them as standard glasses, but other smartglasses scream they’re the technology.
Its latest upgraded version has maintained the same design but added an 8-megapixel camera, vuzix’s voice control support, and speakers. Its smartglasses have a good display with vibrant and crisp photos. It offers 4GB storage and around four hours of battery life.
Microsoft HoloLens 2
The AR wearable is more of a headset than glasses, but it has brought a lot of excitement about a bright AR future. Microsoft switched its focus in its 2nd generation by combining the visor with large high-definition lenses that create multi-dimensional full-color images using a projection system. These are up to 2k resolution with low latency.
Its field of view is 43*29 degrees offering an immersive experience. It has a host of advanced sensors such as four environment sensing and ambient light cameras. These sensors figure out what the user is doing and their environment. These smartglasses have cameras and microphones to capture both audio and video. It includes a Mixed Reality Capture feature for taking images capturing augmented and physical worlds in view. A single charge runs for 2-3 hours continuously.
This is a unique collaboration of EssilorLuxxotica and Meta. The dual cameras allow the wearer to capture and share 30 seconds videos. It also has speakers and microscopes to handle phone calls and listen to music. These smartglasses don’t offer an AR experience, but the partnership will yield AR specs as part of Project Aria.
Ray-Ban Stories has 5-megapixel cameras activated using a button on the side of the frame. The hand-free controls allow you to use onboard microphones to take a video or say Hey. A single tap lets you record a short video or snap a picture with a tap and hold. A small LED near the camera illuminates, alerting others that you’re in photographing or recording mode.
Snap Spectacles AR
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 processor powers these smartglasses to enhance their performance. The Snap Spatial Engine gives six degrees of freedom. It has a touchpad on the arms and two RGB cameras weighing 134 grams. The downside of Snap Spectacles AR is the battery life of 30 minutes.
Further, these smartglasses are being offered to Snap creators and developers but not general customers. This helps them figure out how best they can be used.