The future to set your eyes on
Imagine walking into a shopping mall, only to bump into a familiar face. You know you’ve met them, but you can’t really place a name to the face. Meanwhile they go on and on about their life while you rack your brains trying to figure out why that human being looks familiar. Maybe it is an old friend, a long lost family member. Whoever they are, it makes for one awkward meeting. As they ramble on for minutes which seem like hours to you, you make small talk while the back of your mind plays permutations and combinations of names and faces eliminating them one by one to give you the search result. At the end of the conversation however, your computer brain having failed you, you end the conversation with a “nice meeting you”, not uttering their name a single time, and then kicking yourself as you walk away for being a horrible human being.
What if I tell you this whole situation can be avoided? Well, you can avoid stepping out of your house which will avoid any such situation or on a day you want to go out and socialize, you can wear smart glasses.
Yes, that’s a thing! You know those glasses Magnusson wears in the BBC TV series Sherlock? That tech actually exists. From using being discontinued for security concerns to using them for the purpose of security, smart glasses have come a long way.
It may sound creepy, (considering they can record video and audio without your person and give names to strangers via facial recognition), but smart glasses are the past, the present, and the future.
Smart glasses have been around for a decade, but 2019 is shaping to be the prime time for them.
How do smart glasses work?
In the early years, the information was relayed on the glasses by superimposing information onto the field of view through an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). But over the years they have been replaced by embedded wireless glasses with transparent heads-up display (HUD) and augmented reality (AR), making them more user-friendly. The augmented reality overlay allows the use to see through it, hence making your vision better.
What can they do?
While the early models performed basic functions like acting as a front end display for a remote system, the recent innovations are much more than that. Ranging from having activity trackers to built-in virtual assistants and drones, smart glasses are paving the way for the future.
SMARTGLASSES TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Microsoft Hololens 2
Having trouble with the tools? The latest augmented reality smart glasses rolled out by Microsoft fixes your problems. With a field of view twice the one on the first edition, the Hololens 2 succeeds where its predecessor failed. It weighs 566g, 13g lighter than the original. Life of the battery life is said to be about 3 hours. As far as other specs goes, it runs on the Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform with a 5-channel microphone array with built-in spatial audio. You can touch and feel the holograms, and they react like real objects. The camera is 8MP stills with 1080p30 video.
The Hololens 2 is exclusively designed for workers who can’t use smart phones on the field. Within minutes, you’d be done fixing, guided by holograms.
Vuzix Blade Commercial Edge
Want to wear smart glasses that don’t look like expensive tech? Vuzix Blade is the best in the market. Commercially viable, and consumer friendly, this smart glass comes in really useful. Vuzix is first of the AR range of smart glasses to come in with built-in Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant. Like the Hololens 2, the wearer uses waveguide based see through objects to project a display in front of the right lens which utilizes Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology. It weighs at 96.4g, bulkier than the North Focals, but not as bulky as the Hololens range. The glasses come with an 8MP front-facing camera and are capable of recording Full HD (1080p) videos. The inbuilt microphones make it easy for the user to issue commands to Alexa. There are more than 400 apps being tested for the glasses by the company. The rechargeable battery inside the Blade should last for up to 8 hours, depending on the way the glasses are put to use. They also come in prescription lenses and photo chromic lenses.
Epson Moverio BT-300FPV
Drones are fun, but is it as fun as watching real time footage right in front of your eyes? The moverio bt-300pv does exactly that; what your drone sees is what you see. The drone edition rolled out by Epson redefines the first person view, providing top quality feed from your drones in front of you. The transparent display allows drone pilots to see key flight statistics, while still maintaining visual line of sight with the aircraft. It has the world’s lightest Si-OLED-powered, binocular, transparent smart glasses. Weighing only at 69 g it is easy to wear, even for extended periods of time. It even fits over a wide range of prescription lenses. As far as the processor goes, it’s got Intel Atom x5 1.44 GHz Quad Core. The rechargeable battery is built in the controller, and the battery life extends up to six hours. They come with motion sensors, high-resolution front-facing camera and the ability to render 3D content will enable developers to build next-generation flight experiences.
Are you one of those people who wants to wear future tech, but doesn’t want anybody to notice? Then these smart glasses by North Focals are meant for you. These smart glasses gained recognition for their sleek design; they look like normal glasses. These aren’t going to give the tech as Hololens or Moveiro does, instead these are simple tech that reflects your mobile app notifications on the glasses. They don’t have a built in camera; however, they make up for it by having an inbuilt microphone that lets you take advantage of your virtual assistant. Without your smart phone however your smart glasses are just overpriced glasses. The battery life on the glasses is expected to be around 16 hours on a single charge. Focals use a Qualcomm APQ8009w system-on-a-chip (SoC), which runs on four Arm Cortex A7 CPU cores at a clock speed of up to 1.09GHz. The glasses are dust-resistance and have the ability to withstand water from a nozzle. That means Focals should endure splashes without breaking. However, if you take them with you in the shower or in the pool, then it is on you.