The age of smart glasses for consumer 2021


3 min read

Smart microLED glasses from Vuzix - Life moves pretty quickly. Once in a while, if you don't stop and look around, you might miss it. And the smart glasses of augmented reality (AR) have been touted as one way for you to miss even less when you look around. The problem is many clever glasses look dopey and downright ugly at worst. Looking at you, Glass Google.


But Vuzix removed the covers from a fresh pair of smart glasses at CES 2021, which actually looks like something we'd consider wearing. These new smart glasses currently have no proper model name, detailed specs, price or date of release. But they give us a glimpse of what to expect from smart glasses in the future.


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The new Vuzix smart glasses look a lot like a pair of spectacles you'd expect someone painfully trendy to wear at a hipster cocktail bar at first glance, back when going to such places tinged with the specter of death from a global pandemic. But there's more going on after closer inspection.

One of the most interesting parts of the Vuxiz specifications, created in partnership with Jade Bird Display, is that they used a small microLED display projector that fires images on the lenses of the spectacles, which can clear or prescribed. This "display engine" makes it possible to place projectors on both sides of the spectacles and on the lenses using Vuzix smart glasses, waveguide tech, basically beam color or monochrome images.


What content the glasses would project into the wearer's view is not immediately clear. But given the shows are iOS and Android compatible, we would expect them to display stuff like notifications, direction, and flag up places of interest or offers in shops as one wanders around; that might require privacy and data in the location to be surrendered.

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LTE support are other features, as are noise-cancelling microphones and stereo speakers. Gesture-based controls also function to help access or reject things such as notification without reaching a phone paired with the glasses.



In the consumer tech world, AR smart glasses have not really taken off-see the Focas by North as just one example-and are used more in the corporate and industrial world; for instance, people working remote oil rig repairs can use them to get schematic information while we tie their hands up with repair work. But if Vuzix can make a pair of clever glasses that look reasonably stylish and aren't extremely expensive, then we could see a resurgence of clever glasses for everyone.

And with Apple apparently working on smart glasses, thought to be Apple Glasses uncreatively dubbed, then there could be a second coming for smart glasses soon to fill the gap left by the rather malignant Google Glass.


Virtual Reality, Augmented and Artificial Intelligence 2021 specialist Amit Caesar wrote the article.
Send me an email: caesaramit@gmail.com


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