AI Could Power the Next Generation of Smart Glasses

Making the bigger picture clearer

Key Takeaways

  • Biel Glasses has created a pair of smart glasses to enhance the mobility of users with low vision.
  • Experts believe smart glasses will soon outpace VR headsets in terms of adoption and use.
  • This new generation of smart glasses will infuse AI together with AR to give users a new and better perspective.
The view through smart glasses as someone is meeting another person.

Hiroshi Watanabe / Getty Images

Smart glasses with earphones and mics are a thing of the past. Experts believe the next generation of intelligent eyewear will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) to turn on the smarts.

Jaume Puig, Founder and CEO of Biel Glasses, recently won the HIMSS Global Patient Innovator Award for creating smart glasses that use AI and mixed reality to enable people with low vision to navigate their surroundings confidently. 

"Products like Biel Glasses are an exciting development for users with low vision," Chris Hauk, consumer privacy champion at Pixel Privacy, told Lifewire via email. "As the technology advances and the headsets begin to become more compact, smart glasses will most assuredly be a huge aid to low vision users."

Look Into My Eyes

Puig, an electrical engineer, and his wife Constanza Lucero, a doctor, created the smart glasses for his son Biel who was diagnosed with low vision, which made daily tasks quite a challenge for him.

Dubbed Biel Smart Gaze, the glasses detect obstacles and identify objects with the help of AI. Mixed reality displays signals to help users navigate turns, climb up and down stairs, see obstacles, avoid potholes, cross streets, and more with ease.  

Listing its benefits, the company explains that the glasses are designed to adapt to its user's requirements. "There are many different diseases that produce low vision, and each one affects each person's visual capacity differently. In addition, the deterioration may evolve over time." 

Paul Bischoff, privacy advocate with Comparitech, believes the Biel glasses could be a revolutionary wearable for people with visual impairments and inspire a whole new generation of glasses for enhancing the vision of normal sighted people working under extreme conditions.

"There may be certain jobs or tasks in which the user's vision is impaired by the environment. Glasses like these could prove useful when working in darkness, haze, or bright lights," Bischoff told Lifewire via email.

Augmenting Vision

Experts Lifewire spoke to believed that, unlike the completely immersive virtual reality (VR) headsets, smart glasses give users a sense of physical and digital worlds simultaneously, providing a much more natural experience. This is why many companies, including Google, Apple, Meta, are investing in the research and development of the next generation of smart eyewear that’ll provide a superior augmented reality experience.

Daniel Christian, owner and author of the Learning Ecosystems blog, believes that though VR will still be around for many more years, it’ll soon be outpaced by AR in terms of real-world adoption.

“The wearables for AR will be lighter and more comfortable, will cause less nauseousness, and will allow one to see the real world around them,” Christian told Lifewire over email.

Christian also believes AI will have a significant role in the next generation of smart eyewear, which, when combined with AR, will offer novel solutions to common problems.

Someone using futuristic smart glasses in a real-world situation.

Tim Robberts / Getty Images

Hauk believes that in addition to applications for low vision users, smart glasses could have multiple uses in technology and science, allowing users to magnify objects on the fly, identify objects as they come into view, or even instruct users as they perform their tasks.

Christian thinks object identification will become important and suggests the technology can be used to identify birds and even plants and trees as the user is trekking to help them avoid dangerous ones like poison ivy. 

Smart Glasses may even open a new door to many new healthcare applications, especially with the prevalence of telemedicine, which can be aided with the help of AI-enhanced smart glasses for conducting diagnostics remotely.

The technology can also assist safety inspections with specially trained AI models that aid users by overlaying any relevant information, such as identifying defects, through the mixed reality glasses.

In fact, Biel Glasses suggests the new generation of AI-infused smart glasses will soon be used by many people, both for fun and work. “Smart glasses are the wearable device of the future.”

Was this page helpful?