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Not long ago, smart glasses seemed like an invention from the future, but now the best smart glasses are accessible to everyone! Stylish yet functional are two words that best describe the aesthetics of top smart glasses. These trendy tech spectacles can perform a number of different tasks, and can even be paired with devices like drones to give the user a whole other world of opportunities.
Your possibilities with these wearables are endless, from playing music to recording 1080p quality video. You can do simple tasks while learning interesting personal insights like brain activity level, a feature found in the Smith Lowdown Focus. With AR in mind, these glasses can enhance all aspects of life in real-time and on social media with a pair like the Snap Spectacles 3 made specifically to be compatible with Snapchat. Unfamiliar with the popular app? Check out our Intro to the Popular Ephemeral App!
Read on below to see our list of best smart glasses.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
1080p video recording
Crammed with a surfeit of advanced features, yet (nearly) identical in appearance to any regular piece of eyewear, the Vuzix Blades are the best smart glasses available in the market right now.
Vuzix Blades are powered by Augmented Reality (AR). They are the first smart glasses to come with Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant. The eyewear uses waveguide-based, see-through optics to project a display in front of the right lens, which is full-color and utilizes Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology. At the heart of the Blades are a quad-core ARM CPU, which work in conjunction with Android OS.
The glasses come with an 8MP front-facing camera that is capable of recording Full HD (1080p) videos, and can be controlled via touchpad gestures. With integrated microphone(s), issuing voice commands to Alexa is an effortless task. You can handle calls as well as texts, control music playback, check calendar schedule, look up travel directions, watch videos on the move, and more. Having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, the glasses can pair with your iOS or Android smartphone and project all notifications, right in front of your eyes.
The smart glasses have built-in rechargeable batteries, and a microSD expansion slot. They are available in a variety of lens options, such as prescription lenses and photochromic lenses.
Stereo surround headset
Feel a bit cheap
Lacking some fancier features
Smart glasses with advanced features like Augmented Reality (AR) are undoubtedly cool, but they are also quite expensive. If you want something affordable, TechKen might just have the pair for you.
TechKen are just like a regular pair of sunglasses, albeit with some smart features. They have a stereo surround headset mounted on a frame, and each of the earbuds can be independently adjusted via a hydraulic telescopic lever. The smart glasses use Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, and can pair with not just smartphones, but also desktops, laptops, and tablets.
The mounted earbuds let you listen to music and handle calls effortlessly. There are also a couple of buttons placed on one of the arms of the glasses, and these can be used to adjust the volume and connect the glasses via Bluetooth to other devices. The volume up button can even be used as a camera shutter for your smartphone. TechKen sunglasses come with a rechargeable battery that can easily go on for a few hours on a single charge.
Other than the smart features, TechKen sunglasses come with polarized lenses that protect the wearer's eyes. Having a foldable design, the smart glasses are backed by a 100 percent money back service guarantee.
Compatible with most major drone manufacturers
Google Play store not yet support
Flying drones (and similar UAVs, such as quadcopters) for recreational purposes has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. However, watching that real-time aerial footage on the tiny display of your smartphone isn't fun at all. Meet the Epson Moverio BT-300FPV.
The Moverio BT-300FPV smart glasses allow you to see exactly what your drone sees. Having an incredible first-person view (FPV), they project a transparent display that not only lets you view a drone's video feed, but also monitor its key flight statistics, all while keeping the UAV in sight. A 5MP front-facing camera records Full HD (1080p) footage of the drone from the pilot's point of view, while the display offers 1280 x 720 pixels of resolution and has a 23-degree field of view. Weighing a mere 2.5 ounces, the Epson Moverio BT-300FPV are the world's lightest Si-OLED powered binocular smart glasses.
The eyewear is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom x5 CPU, paired with 2GB of RAM. There's also 16GB of internal storage, with support for microSD cards of up to 32GB. For connectivity, there's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Both the glasses and controller come with a compass, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer. The eyewear runs Android 5.1 and includes a lot of pre-installed applications, such as a browser, calculator, and Moverio app market.
Epson's Moverio BT-300FPV are compatible with many of DJI's drones, including the Spark, Mavic Pro, Phantom 3, Phantom 4, Inspire 1, Inspire 2, and Matrice 100.
Excellent collaborative tool
Excellent battery life
Not marketed to consumers
Still beyond the budget for small businesses
Undoubtedly the most well-known smart eyewear out there, Google Glass is responsible for essentially popularizing the concept of smart glasses. The enterprise edition of Google Glass was launched last year, and these are just the smart glasses that your business needs to succeed.
Google Glass Enterprise Edition has been designed to intuitively fit into the daily workflow of organizations. The glasses help employees remain engaged and focused on work by eliminating distractions. They can be controlled hands-free, as a quick 'Ok Glass' voice command is all that's needed to launch the right application. Through Google Glass Enterprise Edition, employees can access training videos, view images annotated with detailed instructions, manage quality assurance checklists, and more.
Not just that, the eyewear allows employees to connect with each other and share expertise. They can livestream their view for real-time collaboration and troubleshooting. As far as hardware is concerned, the smart glasses are paired by an Intel Atom processor and have 32GB of internal storage. They use dual-band 802.11n/ac Wi-Fi for network connectivity and are powered by a 780mAh battery.
Among the numerous big companies that are already using Google Glass Enterprise Edition are General Electric, Samsung, Volkswagen, Fiege, and DHL.
Built-in micro speakers
No Wi-Fi connectivity
Short battery life
Bose, known for its top-notch audio and speaker systems, has entered the smart glasses market with the Bose Frames. Concentrating on what the company does best, sound, these glasses are a great choice for audiophiles. In fact, the Bose Frames might even replace your wireless earbuds altogether.
An open-ear sound system, tucked into the earpieces, allows you to enjoy music or podcasts while still staying aware of your surroundings, and the sound is hardly audible to others around you. You can also make or receive calls, or access Siri, thanks to the built-in microphone. Bose markets their frames as Bose AR enabled, but while it’s still in early days, it promises an augmented reality for audio.
Currently, connectivity is limited to Bluetooth, as the frames aren’t Wi-Fi enabled. However, the frames are one of the most stylish smart sunglasses we’ve seen. They can also be customized with polarized or prescription lenses, making them a fun and stylish choice, the smart tech cleverly concealed within the frame.
Fitness tracker connectivity
Excellent UV protection
Limited information displayed
Athletes who are keen on their training stats and data will love the Solos Smart Glasses. Designed with cyclists and runners in mind, Solos are a wraparound pair of shades that connect to your training apps or fitness tech, such as Strava or Garmin. Via the Solos app, decide which data, such as time, pace, elevation, etc., that you’d like to see displayed on your screen in real-time. It blends in with your field of view and removes the need to constantly check your watch or phone for your stats, and also has a built-in microphone for making calls.
Unfortunately, the data Solos can show on screen is limited to your performance stats, and it’s not yet able to display texts or social media notifications.
The wraparound style of sunglasses might not be the most stylish option, but they provide UV protection and are effectively designed for use in glare and bright sun. Overall, they are a great choice for outdoor athletes, who might find the Solos an integral part of their race training.
Fun to wear
Only works with Snapchat
The Spectacles 3, from video-sharing social media giant Snapchat, are clearly going to have a focus on creativity and videography, which Snapchat is known for. These funky and fashionable frames are available in both a black and rose gold hue, and are a fun new way to create video.
With two HD cameras and four built-in microphones, users can capture video snippets as they’re wearing the glasses, creating a video with depth and immersive sound. Transfer the video to your Snapchat account, where you can then add on fun augmented reality filters, called 3D filters, which add animation and motion into your video. The glasses need to be used in conjunction with Snapchat, and are only really usable in bright light and outdoors, since they are sunglasses. Snap claims users can take and upload up to 70 videos per charge.
Although Spectacles 3 are an expensive piece of tech for what is essentially a toy, they are a cool example of what smart glasses are capable of, and will definitely be a hit with Snapchat fans.
Lightweight and comfortable
Concept is a bit of a hard sell
Can smart glasses help you relax and focus your mind? That’s the premise behind the Smith Lowdown Focus. These smart glasses pair with headphones and an app to use your brain activity level and breath to help retrain your mind to slow down and improve concentration. Although it sounds pretty wild, the glasses are a great new tool when it comes to practicing mindfulness.
Regular sessions can help users be more focused, manage anxiety, and block out distractions. Brain-sensing technology, which works via sensors in the frame’s earpieces, provides real-time feedback on your brain’s activity level, helping the user know when they need focus to beat stress or complete complex tasks. While this method of mindfulness might not suit everyone, it’s an evidence-based system that has helped many. The frames themselves are unobtrusive and aren’t likely to attract notice.
If you’re struggling with mental focus, consider giving the Lowdown Focus a try, if they’re within your budget.