Since its inception, the primary purpose of eyeglasses is to correct the eyesight of those facing weak vision capabilities. But with the world advancing its technology at leaps and bounds, eyeglasses have now become a part of the wearable segment and have gained popularity as a fashion statement.
But the trend doesn’t stop right here. Inspired by spy thriller movies showcasing advanced technologies, eyeglasses have also evolved to their next level.
And this redesign has come in the form of Augmented Reality (AR) and its integration into the wearable market.
In the futuristic world of technology, AR has successfully merged itself with eyeglasses to give its users a new experience.
Therefore, leading to the development of Smart Glasses Technology.
But what exactly are smart glasses? In simpler terms, Smart Glasses Technology is a simple attempt of bringing wireless connectivity and imaging like that of a home computer and cellphone into the unassuming frames and lenses of eyewear.
But is the introduction and path of Smart Glasses Technology is not as simple as it seems?
Let’s find out some of the previous attempts as well as the current scenario of the Smart Glasses Technology Market and what it entails.
Defining Smart Glasses Technology
Smart Glasses Technology can be defined as a dynamic technology that has transformed a traditionally static material alive and multifunctional.
Leveraging AR technology, Smart Glasses features the control of various forms of light such as visible light, UV, and IR.
Smart Glasses can be further integrated into windows, partitions and other transparent surfaces that in turn can infuse its applications in numerous sectors like architecture, interior design, automotive, and consumer electronics, etc.
Antecedents of Smart Glasses Technology
The inception of Smart Glasses dates back to the year 2013 when Google introduced the world’s first-ever made commercial Smart Glasses.
Named as Google Glass Explorer, the company was hoping to build on the momentum of the booming popularity of smartwatches and other wearable wireless devices.
Despite its grand launch and great performance, the Explorer device failed to garner much fame in the wearable market due to its geeky and uncomfortable appearance as well as its expensive cost. Also, people believed to be afraid of Smart glasses as they considered their use cases as an invasion of their privacy.
Thus, forcing Google to yank the product from the market after only 18 months of its launch.
Later Snap Spectacles launched a similar product in 2016 but with a stylish and trendy look that was only able to snap photos.
Afterward, many major tech firms like Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, had raced to develop various smart glasses products but were unsuccessful to gain traction among users due to their high prices and design issues.
After successive failures of big companies in raising the popularity of Smart Glasses Technology, Apple didn’t try its luck in this segment but instead was rumored to work on AR Headset.
Intel also introduced its brand of Smart Glasses in 2018 named Vaunt.
One of the characteristic features of Intel’s new Vaunt smart glasses is their simple appearance.
You heard right! Its simple and unassuming appearance was what shocked the wearable community as there was no camera to creep people out, or a button to push, no gesture area to swipe, no speaker, for now.
From an outsider’s perspective, the Vaunt smart glasses looked simply like normal eyeglasses.
In the current age of rapid evolution, Smart Glasses Technology has also sparkled with time as various failed attempts till now have polished the drawbacks of the previous counterparts.
As seen at the start of 2021, we witnessed a wide variety of Smart Glasses launch, including some of the big names like Facebook that unveiled its first smart glasses recently in partnership with Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica.
Facebook’s Smart Glasses offers its wearers to listen to music, take calls as well as capture photos and videos that could be shared across Facebook’s services using a companion app.
Named under the glasses line, “Ray-Ban Stories,” the glasses are also cost-effective as compared to its previous editions.
Competing Facebook in Smart Glasses Technology Xiaomi released their version of Smart Glasses called Xiaomi Smart Glasses on September 2021.
Xiaomi Smart Glasses shows surplus features like imaging systems and different sensors integrated subtly in ordinary glasses design using MicroLED optical waveguide technology.
Possessing the mere weight of 51g, Xiaomi Smart Glasses offers to display messages and notifications, make calls, translate text, navigate, and capture photos.
Apart from these big names of technology giants, multiple companies have entered the wearable community with their version of Smart Glasses including Lenovo’s ThinkReality A6, Epson’s Moverio BT-300, and Vuzix’s M300 are some of the many examples among the few.
Though possessing tremendous potential to reinvent the wearable market, Smart Glasses Technology is still working backstage due to people’s reluctance and misguided beliefs of privacy invasion.
But as the awareness of smart devices is gaining momentum, the day is not far behind when the boom of this market will reach every household across the world.