April 19, 2024

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Are We Living in the Era of Smart Glasses?

Technology always evolves, and each innovative leap has taken humans to greater heights. We’ve come a long way since the inception of Walkmans and personal computers, which reshaped the way we access entertainment and information. With the emergence of interactive devices powered by artificial intelligence and virtual reality, there seem to be limitless possibilities for merging the digital space with the physical world.

Today, smart glasses are steadily gaining popularity and revolutionizing the way people see their surroundings. A report by Verified Market Research states that the smart glasses market was valued at $4.8 billion in 2022 and is expected to increase to $10 billion by 2030. Does this mean we’re living in a new era of smart glasses? Below, we take a look at their history and recent developments in the industry.

Brief History 

The history of smart glasses can be traced back to the first attempts at tinkering with immersive technology through virtual reality (VR). Such attempts were made in the 1950s by cinematographer Morton Heilig, who developed the sensorama – a machine that stimulates viewers’ multiple senses to immerse themselves in films. Since then, VR has continued to flourish, which inspired the development of smart glasses that can merge augmented reality with wearable ocular devices. 2013 saw the unveiling of the CastAR augmented reality glasses from Technical Illusions, and the following year, Google Glasses was introduced.

Today, smart glasses continue to make an impact across industries. Advancements like the BMW ConnectedRide smart glasses, for example, display important data like speed and navigation instructions into a motorcycle rider’s line of sight to keep them focused on the road. But like all things, they have benefits and drawbacks. 

New Tech Revolution

According to a CNN report on AI, the world as we know it is witnessing an AI revolution, with tech companies focusing on boosting productivity and task management with the technology. Many smart glasses are now equipped with virtual AI assistants like Alexa, Amazon, and Siri that enable you to do speech commands if you need assistance or answers to queries.

Aside from AI, they also allow you to capture videos and photos without having to use your smartphone, and because of wireless connectivity, you can seamlessly connect to your phones or other gadgets so you can receive calls and other notifications. The caveat is that these devices can be prone to breaking if not handled properly, and some features may not be available if your phone is not connected to the internet.

Groundbreaking Developments

Smart glasses continue to evolve, as seen in the recent collaboration between tech giant Meta and Ray-Ban manufacturer EssilorLuxottica. Designed for timeless styles like the Wayfarers, the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses feature improved audio and camera quality that enables you to live stream to Facebook and Instagram. You can also engage with Meta AI, an advanced conversational assistant, by simply saying “Hey Meta.” What’s also great about this new product is that anyone who wishes to sport Ray-Ban sunglasses and Meta smart glasses can easily get them in a store and online, making them more accessible than ever. Users can also anticipate better updates to the Meta smart glasses, including an added display and a neural interface smartwatch, set to be released in 2025.

Meanwhile, while Google Glass has had its ups and downs, it has partnered with mobile phone app maker Envision to create smart glasses that allow blind and visually impaired people to picture the world around them. These smart glasses from Google and Envision use optical character recognition that can recognize many faces, colors, and objects and even read signs to help blind people navigate their way. The glasses detect information through AI and announce what they’re seeing to the wearer, allowing for a better understanding of their environment.

We might be witnessing the dawn of a new technological era as smart glasses progress. With many innovative features, smart glasses are poised to change the game for the eyewear industry.

By I&T Today

By I&T Today

Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Send it to submit@innotechtoday.com

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