Slowly, we’re hearing more and more about the possibility of Smart Glasses. We’ve already seen Google Glass as well as Microsoft’s Hololens, but we’re starting to see more startups developing smart glasses. Now, though, there are reports on Apple getting into the game.
Granted, Apple has been working on their AR Kit for quite some time now, deploying it through iOS, and they already have a fair number of app developers using it in their apps. This, I think, will give them an edge when it comes to actually convincing people to buy their product. More importantly, though, I think the number of available apps at launch, while important, will not be the ultimate determining factor for a purchase.
Like smart watches, glasses will need to be a point of style as well as function. While the watches can, essentially, only take one of two forms (round or square), glasses come in so many different shapes, styles, materials, etc. that the big challenge for whomever wants to dominate the smart glasses market will most likely be partnering with an already established frame maker, and then integrating the smart system into a large array of frames. That’s been the biggest issue that I’ve seen with the smart glasses that are on the market at the moment; each platform only has one (or, if you’re lucky, two) styles of glasses.
The next level for smart glasses will definitely be that they will need to have and be able to work with transition lenses. Now, I understand that they might not be for everyone, although I am a firm believer in them, however, how much would it suck to have these expensive glasses that are made to make your life better, but then on a sunny day, you need to take them off just to make sure that you don’t burn your retinas out and put on sunglasses. Also, I understand that clip-on shades are a thing, but I just don’t think that those work with most glasses styles. Also, I’m always worried that they might scratch the lenses up, which I can imagine would mess a lot up when it comes to the display on the glasses.
Overall, while we may see more and more of these AR devices, I think we’re still a while off from having a product that an average consumer would be willing to wear all day, every day. Until then, we’re going to see many devices that just miss the mark or are purpose-built for commercial or engineering purposes.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!