Google Glass was the poster boy of the
smartglasses industry, but the Big G decided to call time on its augmented reality specs for the masses… for now at least.
Essential reading: What’s in store for Google Glass 2.0?
And there are plenty of options coming to market with an array of features. From
first-person videos and photos as moments unfold, to turn-by-turn directions,
and facial recognition of the people you meet, the invasion of the smartglasses
is coming and the first examples are already landing.
We don our future-specs to reveal the best
smartglasses on the market and the ones we believe have the potential to take
Building on the M100 specs launched back in 2013, Vuzix’s M300 smart glasses are built for enterprise and this time come with a more comfortable, rugged design.
With an Intel Atom processor powering performance, it’ll run on the latest version of Android with 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage and Wi-Fi connectivity among the more notable specs.
There’s also a 13-megapixel camera to take pics, head tracking support and dual cancelling microphones.
If you want these to play with at work, Vuzix is currently offering a migration pre-order package, sending you the M100 glasses now and then M300 glasses when they launch.
Epson Moverio BT-300
The BT-300 smartglasses ditch the clunky look of its predecessors returning with a sleeker, more polished pair of AR smartglasses. The BT-300 is lighter than its predecessor and is not quite as geeky-looking either.
It uses a significantly sharper 720p HD resolution OLED display, and now packs a 5-megapixel front facing camera. It’s also powered by an Intel Atom quad core processor with Android Lollipop covering the software bases.
While Epson’s smart glasses have always been quite business-focused, it has teased the prospect of using them in the gym to race in virtual environments and is working with drone makers DJi so you can control flights straight from your specs.
Sony released the essential tools to allow developers to start coding applications for its
Google Glass rival, and now devs can finally get hold of the SmartEyeGlass hardware.
SmartEyeGlass includes an array of features, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and built in camera. However, the monochrome screen is likely to put off consumers, if Sony chooses to release it beyond the business world.
Sony SmartEyeGlass Attach
But you don’t actually need to stick a full Sony headset on your bonce; the Attach accessory was unveiled back in 2015 and the company recently used the smart accessory for its AR talks at SXSW 2016.
Sony SmartEyeGlass Attach features a 0.23-inch OLED single lens microdisplay, with a 640 x 400 resolution and a control board which contains an ARM processor, sensor hub, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity. The display module is just 40g, and there’s a 400mAh battery to power the whole thing.
Sadly, it’s still just a concept at this point and there’s no indication from Sony as to how much it might cost.
Tokyo based Jins demoed its Meme smartglasses over in 2015 and while they haven’t gone on sale yet, we do have a better idea of how much it will cost and what they can actually do. This smart eyewear has more in common with the likes of Jawbone and Lumo than some of its rivals in this roundup though.
The Jins Meme specs don’t provide an AR experience for their wearers; they use bio-sensing tech to detect changes in a wearer’s eye and body movements to track and alert on safety, health and fitness. They can track tiredness and alert drivers who may be about to nod off.
EOG electrodes built into the frames and in the nose pads can detect blinks and eye movement in eight directions, and the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors along the earpiece monitor body axis and walking pattern to improve posture.
There’s still no details on US or UK pricing, but we do know that if you’re in Japan, the ES model will cost 39,000JPY (roughly $350) and 19,000JPY (around $170) for the MT model.
ODG R-7 Smart Glasses
ODG’s self-contained, Android KitKat-running, smart glasses are designed for Government and enterprise, and pack a 3D stereoscopic see-through HD display and stereo sound.
These Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 powered specs have now started shipping and cost a grand total of $2,750. It also includes Wi-Fi, GPS and a host of sensors including a gyroscope, humidity sensor and altitude sensor.
The lenses are swappable as well and the built-in autofocus camera also lets you record 1080p full HD video.
Designed for cyclists, these sporty looking specs
wouldn’t look out of place on the Tour De France, and are designed to deliver
the kind of data Team Sky riders would kill for. Combining a 1GHz dual-core ARM
Cortex-A9 processor, HD camera, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer,
altimeter, thermometer and GPS receiver, the Jet delivers detailed ride
statistics directly to your eyes.
Connect Jet to up to eight ANT+ or Bluetooth
peripherals (such as heart rate monitors, power meters and cadence sensors) and
you’ll get a full report on how your body’s doing, too. The removable battery is a big plus
for long rides, and the option of prescription inserts means they should be good fit for all.