We have come a long way from Google’s Glass. Introduced in 2012, it was the bold eyewear idea that launched a 1000 more ideas. Some ideas were great, others were questionable, then there were those that caused mania like the Snap Spectacles. Launched in November 2016, it was less than two years later that Snap’s beachfront Spectacles store in Venice is no more and according to Hugh Langley’s article ‘Snap Spectacles are dead‘ the hugely popular smart eyewear is now “Little more than a footnote on the company Q4 results.” Langley, the editor of Wareable, adds, “Don’t expect a new line for 2018”.
Besides the demise of Spectacles, there is still a lot of development going on within the smart glasses space. We are still witnessing undeterred companies, like Amazon, throwing new smart glasses ideas into the arena. It is this willingness to learn from past mistakes, that has meant that each offer gets better and better. Here are our top 3 smart glasses ideas that have tickled us pink so far.
Vaunt: Laser Technology
We heard this week that Intel’s created a pair of experimental smartglasses called Vaunt. They look like an average pair of Clark Kent type glasses, with no camera, microphone, or odd display attached to the frame.
Still, in the prototype phase, the glasses were described by the Verge as using a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser and a low-power laser to project a red image onto a “holographic reflector” on the right lens. Which means when worn, you do not need to constantly look at notifications, instead, the image is reflected back to your retina. “If it’s weird if you look geeky if you’re tapping and fiddling—then we’ve lost.” Itai Vonshak, head of products at Intel’s New Devices Group, told The Verge.
Always in focus, and supposedly safe, when it comes to notifications, the smart glasses do not vibrate or make a noise. Instead, wearers will notice when something appears in that area of their glasses. According to Intel, your notifications should not be noticeable to others. Other features include a compass, an accelerometer, and an app processor built into the device. The glasses also use Bluetooth to connect to either iPhone or Android.
Vue: Bone Conduction Audio Technology
Vue Smart Glasses are stylish and discreet. More than just another pair of glasses, the Vue frames have been designed with the kind of integrated technology that is seamless and invisible. They also brag smart features such as streaming wireless audio via bone conduction speakers, tracking steps, calories and distance and notifications when you receive an email or text message.
When it comes to impressive tech specs, Vue uses bone conduction audio technology to transfer stereo sound to your inner ear without the use of earbuds. What this means is that your ears remain unplugged, so you can listen to music, answer calls, and hear notifications all from your glasses while still being able to listen to the world around you. Another tech feature worth mentioning is gesture control. This is a design perk that allows you to navigate your Vue with a convenient touch interface embedded into the arm of the frames. With no ports or buttons, we love that Vue smart glasses have been designed to give the wearer a non-intrusive experience. If you managed to pre-order a pair, estimated shipping date is March 2018.
Lucyd: Blockchain Meets Augmented Reality
Lucyd is looking to develop glasses that will use next-gen Augmented Reality (AR) display to put our favourite apps right before our eyes. They plan to do this by first launching an LCD token sale that will then allow them to develop glasses of the future. Promising an interactive AR display, the smartglasses, housed in a discreet body, will have a 120° enhanced field of view that is over three times larger than any available.
With AR evolving their vision, these regular looking specs could bring the first blockchain-fueled smart glasses to the AR revolution. The convenient, comfortable and unnoticeable intelligent glasses will be powered by an LCD token which will run on the Lucyd Lab blockchain. It will work by driving organic app development, user engagement and rewarding positive contributions to the Lucyd ecosystem (app development, content, user reviews, etc.). The LCD token will secure the funding for a prototype and build the Lucyd Lab app which will drive native content creation. They hope that by creating a new AR ecosystem, Lucyd will give the global developer community the kind of access that will ensure that anyone can develop, share and experience content on their user-friendly smartglasses. As of today, tokens sold to date 14,791,845 LCD. Sale ends 28 February 2018.