Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Meta Glasses Store
The Complete Guide to Smart Glasses and the Technologies Behind Them
Smart glasses are wearable devices that incorporate technology such as computer displays, cameras, sensors, and connectivity features, allowing users to access information, communicate, and interact with their surroundings in new ways.
There are many different types of smart glasses available on the market, ranging from basic models that display notifications and allow for hands-free phone calls, to more advanced models that incorporate augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) capabilities.
Some popular examples of smart glasses include Google Glass, Microsoft HoloLens, and Vuzix Blade. These devices can be used for a variety of applications, such as navigation, remote assistance, gaming, training, and entertainment.
Introduction: What are Smart Glasses, and What are the Differences between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)?
Smart glasses can use your mobile phone (or other cellular) connection and / or Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. Our guide to smart glasses will help you think of smart glasses as wearable computers which can then use an internet connection to run self-contained mobile applications.
Most smart glasses are hands free and can be controlled with voice commands; while others use touch buttons for interaction and control of the device.
Advanced smart glasses utilize the input from internal or external sensors to interact with various elements of applications and technology. That interaction may be to control other devices, instruments, applications or even computers.
Most smart glasses have the ability to support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS.
The most basic smart glasses have a small operating system built in and function as portable media players where files are sent to the device via a connected cable. Some smart glasses can even transfer audio and video files to the device via Bluetooth or WiFi.
Specialty smart glasses take advantage of GPS technology and feature full life logging and activity tracking.
Smart glasses may also have features similar to the technology found on a smartphone, such as Fitness Tracking, GPS watches, making phone calls and more.
While recent smart glasses models are functional as standalone devices, you will find that a lot of manufacturers recommend (or even require) that consumers utilize their mobile smart phones as the primary “computer” so to speak. This ensures the ability to run the same operating system and to allow synchronization of the two devices. Doing so can allow for even more advanced and enhanced functionality.
Unlike VR, augmented reality AR smart glasses do not attempt to replace the viewer’s environment with complete virtual reality components. Some AR Smart Glasses instead augment what is in the real world with 3D images and environments to enhance what the user sees.
What Types of Tech Are Used in AR/VR Devices and Smart Glasses?
Smart Glasses can use various AR/VR components such as a camera (or multiple cameras), multiple sensors, audio inputs (microphone and speakers), environmental or physical object identification technologies, and more. Augmented reality glasses are essentially data-driven smart glasses where they identify a “pre-loaded marker” (for example, an predetermined image that is pre-loaded on the application and then the camera searches for a similar image in the real world). That marker is then overlayed in the viewer’s lens in the form of a digital 3D image.
Smart Glasses may also use geolocation technologies such as GPS or SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) which are algorithm-based technologies that get data from the various sensors. Some may use a combination of technologies to determine the wearer’s location followed by then determining what to manipulate in the user’s real world environment (such as what and where to overlay digital 3D images or holograms).
• The Smart Glasses camera or head mounted display scans and captures data from the wearer’s real world.
• The smart glasses then identify the precise location as to overlay the predefined data.
• The smart glasses then determine the 3D element that exists within the server, application, device, etc (often pre-loaded).
• The smart glasses then correlates the data and displays the information for the user.
How can I Get Smart Glasses that Actually Work?
In order to answer how to buy smart glasses online, we have to consider how you will use them. Let’s start with the most basic and then work our way up to advanced.
Water Resistant Transitional Lens Smart Glasses
Polarized, UV400 rated with blue Light blocking for computer use and more. The transitional lenses automatically change color from indoor to outdoor environments. They are impact resistant to provide basic eye protection (US Safety Lens Standard ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015). They also feature anti-eyestrain, anti-scratch and anti-smudging.
Works with Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Google Now. Connect with Pandora, iTunes, Spotify and more to listen to your favorite music stations. Responds to voice commands for directions, weather, traffic updates and more.
Make and answer hands free phone calls with the high definition microphone and open ear style speakers (nothing to insert into your ear canal). Easily adjust the volume up and down to your preference. With limited use, the battery can last up to 10 hours on a full charge (charging time 2 hours via USB cable).
Compatible for all Android and IOS devices with Bluetooth.
Razer Anzu Smart Glasses
With blue light filtering and polarized lenses the Razer Anzu smart glasses protect your eyes from computer blue light and by reducing eyestrain. Your eyes will feel refreshed and and focused while workng or being entertained. While they are not transitional lenses (like above). insert the polarized lens to help shield your eyes from the sun when outdoors. Prescription lenses can be added easily.
Featuring an open-ear design, you can go hands-free when taking phone calls due to the discreet omni-directional microphone and speakers that are built into the lens frame. One thing quite special about the Razer Anzu smart glasses, especially considering it’s very low price point, is their low latency audio: Razer leads the industry with a 60ms latency bluetooth connection. Low latency delivers stutter-free sound with no real noticeable delay. This alone allows you to use your smart glasses without no disruptions from audio delay or skipping.
You can operate them with touch-enabled controls, and they are voice-assistant compatible: Change audio tracks, pause, play or skip, manage phone calls, and activate your smartphone’s voice assistant features. The battery life is rated at about 5 hours of use. When not in use, it automatically shuts off to conserve battery power.
iVUE Vista Action Camera Glasses
While these are not necessarily “smart glasses”, they are pretty amazing action camera glasses. With ultra 4K resolution you can easily capture a high definition point of view video with a click of button.
Recorded video frame rates are at a very high 120 (720P mode / 60 FPS in 1080P mode) frames per second which allow for fluid and smooth video footage. A 70° wide angle lens brings your videos to life by capturing more of the area that you are actually viewing. With the Advanced Video Stabilization feature you can rest easy knowing your video and images will be automatically corrected for stability.
With the press of a button, choose to take high quality photos instead video. The glasses will even vibrate to let you know that your photo has been taken. You can enable or disable the time/date feature, whether you want that information displayed on the photo or not.
High quality Grilamid TR90 frames make for a great fit for most head sizes comfortably. The polarized grey tint lenses come installed by default, but you can switch to the included non-polarized clear lenses easily.
Amazon Echo Frames Smart Glasses
You can be hands-free and operate Alexa. Make phone calls, listen to podcasts or Audible books. Control your smart home, set reminders, add to your to-do lists, get the news, and more. Designed by Amazon and includes access to Google Assistant and Apple Siri from a compatible device. These smart glasses come in multiple colors and three variations to choose from:
Amazon Echo Frames are intended for all-day wear. They are lightweight and quite comfortable. With open-ear audio from 4 speakers (nothing to insert into your ear canal) and with automatic volume, they direct sound to your ears where it should be. In addition, they also minimize what others around you can hear.
The automatic volume feature will actually automatically adjust the volume based on the noise level of your environment in real time.
They include a very intuitive “VIP Filter”. The VIP filter allows you to customize which notifications to receive from the contacts and applications on your smart phone. With a single press of a button, you can call your “Top Contact” for a more convenient and seamless way to stay in touch.
Designed by Amazon to protect your privacy. The Echo Frames microphones (2) are designed to only respond to the voice of the person that is actually wearing the frames. If needed, you can turn off the microphones all together by double-pressing the action button.
Amazon Echo Frames utilize Bluetooth 5.0 and Hands-Free Profile (HFP) support for phone calls. They use Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) for audio streaming, Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control.
Amazon Echo Frames simultaneously use the Alexa app on your smartphone and works on iPhone and Android phones.
Facebook / Meta Social Media Smart Glasses
Designed by Ray-Ban in partnership with Facebook/Meta for a new way to capture, share, listen and more. Capture your most memorable moments at events, playing sports, site seeing, travelling and more. Take photos, videos, listen to music and (with the recent software update) make phone calls. Ray-Ban Stories come in multiple colors and three form factors:
Just like other smart glasses, Ray-Ban Stories require a mobile smart phone and internet access. A Facebook account and the Facebook View app are required if you are going to share content on Facebook. The Facebook Assistant, as well Ray-Ban Voice Command is only available in the English language. They work on Apple iPhone and Android devices.
With polarized lenses that block at least 95% of reflected light, they help virtually eliminate glare and increase clarity.
Dual High Definition 5MP cameras that automatically adjust to the light around you for high resolution photos (2592×1944) and even short video clips (1184×1184 at 30 fps) of 60 seconds or less.
Discrete open-ear speakers with 3 built-in microphones that eliminate the need for ear buds or other devices to be inserted into your ear canal. You will get rich voice and sound quality for phone calls, audio files, and for the videos that you capture.
Ray-Ban Stories respond to voice commands and the software has been updated regularly to introduce new features.
Bose Frames Smart Glasses
Bose is well known for their amazing sound quality. They have incorporated their quality engineering into luxurious and thoughtfully refined design that is strikingly elegant. The Bose Frames line of smart glasses blend enhanced features for an elevated way to listen. The line of complete kits (with all included lenses) come in three styles:
The Bose Frames line feature polarized lenses, premium craftsmanship, and Bose OpenAudio technology that produces sound you’d never expect from sunglasses. With an exclusive, wafer-thin acoustic package hidden in the temples of the frames that produces lifelike sound and drastically reduces the spread of sound away from you.
The lenses are polarized and block 99% UVA/B rays. And you can add prescription (Rx) lenses anytime.
With an advanced microphone system, your phone calls will be crystal clear. The noise reduction system reduces the sound of wind and other ambiance noise to let your callers focus on your voice.
With a Bluetooth connection to your smart phone you can play music and audio for up to 5.5 hours on a one hour charge.
Rokid Air AR Glasses
Dive into an immersive visual experience with Rokid Augmented Reality glasses. They are intended for gaming and entertainment. They are not fully intended for smart features that the smart glasses above have. Play games, watch videos and more on a screen that is larger than life! To explain these, we included the video below.
Imagine travelling on a plane and trying to watch a movie on the screen of the device. Forget that! Connect these glasses to your device and be blown away by the 43° wide field of view, 55 pixels per degree, 1080P OLED dual display and a 120″ massive screen! Enjoy crisp details, vivid colors and massive sound from dual directional speakers that can handle surround sound effects.
How to order a pair of smart glasses online can be a bit complicated. We have at the least defined how to find a reliable pair of smart glasses. It really depends on what you need them for. Now to go to the opposite end of the spectrum that most consumers will not be shopping for. But, why not know what the technology is capable of?
Microsoft HoloLens 2 for Extremely Advanced Needs
With transparent lenses, a high definition 8 mega pixel camera, multiple sensors (which enables the ability to track the user’s position from all sides), and a microphone for voice input. The Microsoft HoloLens 2 also has two 2K 120 Hz (refresh rate) display that projects 3D images and colors over natural spaces so the user sees mixed reality and can interact with virtual 3D models and holographs.
These would be used for large enterprise corporations for training, collaboration, logistics, assembly lines, medical fields and more. These are intended for developers and companies with the technical capabilities to set them up and use them properly.
Conclusion: The best technology paired with the best wearable tech.
Thank you for spending your time with us at Meta Glasses Store. Contact us with any questions!