Smart Glasses: Digital Eyes to Look at the World

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The Terminator and Iron Man movie series always made me wish for glasses that would pop out digital readings. Today, that has become a reality. We now have smart eyewear that can assist us in different walks of life including various daily activities, sports, healthcare and so on. In this article we look at some of the coolest glasses that are giving us a smarter glance at the world.

Your daily assistant
If you are looking for something to assist you with your day-to-day activities, an attractive and feature-packed option is Vue smart glasses. Receiving good response on Kickstarter and BackerKit campaigns, this wearable is now ready for pre-order. Powered by ARM Cortex processor, Vue offers a number of smart features such as health monitor, walk recorder, calorie measurement, distance measurement, navigation assistance and more. All this data, after being captured, can be viewed on Vue’s proprietary mobile application (which supports Android as well as iOS). The glasses also alert you of incoming calls or messages via a blinking LED and let you answer calls hands-free. Vue smart glasses include Bluetooth modules to connect to your smartphone.

Inside Vue smart glasses (Credit: enjoyvue.com)

An interesting technology used in Vue is for audio transmission. The in-built speakers deliver high-quality audio without the need to plug it into your ears, via bone conduction. This technology allows the sound to travel across frame handles directly through the ear bones. Consequently, you can use it to receive voice-assisted navigation routes or listen to your favourite tunes without compromising your safety on the road.

The sides of the frame come with gesture-based controls for various operations. These gesture-based operations can be assigned or changed via the mobile application.
Another fun feature of Vue is that it comes with a portable charging case to charge it on-the-go. The battery works up to seven days after being charged.

Vue is waterproof and comes in three iterations: plano, sunglasses and prescription-based. The pricing starts at US$ 249 (approx. INR 16,200).

The cycling companion
Cycling enthusiasts and tech-lovers alike can find a great partner in Everysight’s Raptor eyegear. The sturdy, weather-resistant smart glasses provide health and ride statistics when active. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 410E processor on Android 5.1.1 OS. You can view all the information on a high-brightness OLED display, powered by the company’s proprietary Beam technology to ensure display clarity.

Data like navigation route, duration of ride and heart rate, among others, are recorded and displayed by Raptor. There is an interactive touchpad on the right side of the glasses that can be used for various actions and settings.

Everysight Raptor (Credit: everysight.com)

An in-built 13.2MP camera can capture HD images and videos. Addition of in-built speakers to the side, which can run stored playlists, adds to the appeal. The in-built battery keeps it running for up to nine hours.

Voice commands commence specific actions like controlling the camera, adjusting the volume of the speaker or brightness of the display. This becomes highly beneficial as it gives hands-free control while riding.

Raptor provides interchangeable visors. It can also be controlled from a separate wireless controller (to be bought separately), which compactly fits on the cycle handle-bar. You can set up Raptor from the associated mobile application. For those using prescribed lenses can purchase an RX lens adaptor to use with Raptor.

Raptor can be pre-ordered. It comes in two models: 16GB and 32GB. The price starts at US$ 499 (approx. INR 32,400).

For the augmented reality experience
Epson has created their own consumer-oriented smart glasses in the form of Moverio BT-300. This quad-core Intel Atom processor-powered wearable houses 2GB of RAM and runs on Android. The display lens is made of silicon-OLED material with 720p HD resolution. An internal storage of 16GB is provided by default. The glasses provide various information about your surroundings and environment like route, distance, temperature, humidity, weather conditions and other similar data.

Epson Moverio BT-300 (Credit: www.epson.co.in)

Main operations are done through a controller puck, attached along the headset via a wire. The puck contains the power button, trackpad, navigations keys, switch key, volume key and more. It has an expandable microSD slot (up to 2GB SD and up to 32GB SDHC), micro-USB connector and headphone jack. An in-built 5MP camera can click images and videos. BT-300 has support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth protocol as well as Miracast casting technology.

A proprietary mobile application (compatible with Android as well as iOS) helps to seamlessly set up BT-300. BT-300’s battery provides operation up to six hours after charge. An interesting product for all category of users, Moverio BT-300 is available for US$ 779 (INR 50,600).

The premium one
Revealed at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018, Vuzix Blade is a smart eyewear that can be a game-changer in the domain. It is aimed towards consumers and enterprises alike with a massive host of features. Processing capacity of the Android-based gear is powered by a quad-core ARM unit.

Vuzix Blade has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity support. It can store files in a microSD card through its expansion slot. A gesture-supported touchpad allows you to configure its settings. Sensors can sense head motion and deliver haptic-based vibrations. Through Bluetooth as well as a micro-USB audio jack, it can connect to earphones or headsets.
The right lens has a full-colour display that can show required data and settings. An interesting addition is an 8MP HD camera, which can capture images and videos, and store these on the memory card.

Various features of Vuzix Blade (Credit: www.vuzix.com)

The USP of Vuzix Blade is the integration of Alexa voice assistant, which enables the wearable to be voice-controlled. It supports multiple languages, too. You can access the features through a mobile application as well, which is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones. The lens can be changed based on prescription. Blade is up for pre-order on their website and comes with a price tag of US$ 1000 (approx. INR 65,000).

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