The 8 Best Smart Glasses to Buy in 2018

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A few years ago, even the idea of eyeglasses with built-in technological features would've seemed something straight out of a science fiction movie. That's no longer the case today, and "smart glasses" are just as real as conventional eyeglasses.

Often heralded as the future of wearable computing, smart glasses today have a diverse range of features, based on their intended purpose. They can be as basic as simple camera glasses that can record photos/videos, or as advanced as futuristic-looking eyegear having multiple sensors and the ability to control drones. As such, deciding which one to buy can be a massive chore.

But don't worry, as we've got you covered. Here's our curated list of the best smart glasses on the market today. Whatever your need(s) may be, you'll surely find one that fits the bill.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Vuzix Blade

Vuzix Blade

Courtesy of Vuzix

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.

Best Budget: TechKen Sunglasses

TechKen Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

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.

Best for Drone Control: Epson Moverio BT-300FPV

Epson Moverio BT-300FPV

Courtesy of Best Buy

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.

Best for Fitness Tracking: Vue

Vue

Courtesy of Vue

Fitness trackers work great if you want to keep tabs on your daily activities, exercise routines, and things like that. But they sync all of their health-related data to companion apps, so you always have to take out your smartphone to know the details. This is where Vue comes into the picture.

Vue is a pair of smart glasses that's been designed for everyday use. The eyewear looks exactly like a regular pair of glasses. However, it includes a bevy of features, and activity tracking is the best among them. The glasses keep track of steps walked, calories burned, and distance traveled. They even remind you to move if you've been sitting for a while.

Vue has wireless bone conduction speakers that let you listen to music and handle calls, completely hands-free. They can even provide turn by turn navigation directions. The glasses can be controlled by simple gestures (tap, double tap, long hold, and swipe) on the arm of their frame. The eyewear is rain, splash and water-resistant, and includes an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and an infrared proximity sensor. Vue uses Bluetooth 4.2 to pair with your iOS or Android smartphone and features a 90mAh battery that can be charged wirelessly.

Available in two styles — Classic and Trendy — Vue are offered with both prescription and plano lenses. They are also available as sunglasses.

Best for Recording Videos: Gogloo E6 Camera Sunglasses

Thanks to smartphones and their ever-improving cameras, people are shooting more videos than ever before. However, in doing this, they miss out on enjoying the very moments they are always trying to record. So what's the solution? Say hello to Gogloo E6 camera sunglasses.

Using Gogloo's E6 camera sunglasses, you can enjoy your special moments and record them for later viewing, both at the same time. As the name suggests, these smart glasses come with an integrated 10MP camera (built into the bridge), capable of recording Full HD (1080p) videos. The 110-degree wide-angle camera captures more area in each frame, resulting in better point of view (POV) videos. It's complemented by dual stereo microphones with enhanced noise reduction, resulting in loud and clear audio capture.

Getting started with the E6 couldn't be any simpler. Just put them on, click a button, and the camera will start recording. This makes them perfect for outdoor activities such as mountain climbing and camping. The glasses are made up of Grilamid TR90 material, which makes them lightweight, comfortable, and durable. They are also designed to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Gogloo E6 smart glasses come with polarized lenses. Along with the glasses, you also get a 16GB memory card, a microUSB cable, and a card reader. Their built-in battery is claimed to offer up to 90 minutes of recording on a single charge.

Best for Mirroring Displays: Vufine+

We often need to hook up external displays to devices such as laptops and cameras in order to extend their reach and functionality. But it's rather cumbersome to have a second screen for multiple devices. Vufine+ changes this, giving you a mirrored screen right before your eyes.

Vufine+ is essentially a wearable display that can turn any regular pair of glasses into smart glasses. It seamlessly integrates with a variety of gadgets, including everything from smartphones to drones. Vufine+ uses an HDMI cable to interface with other devices and provide a mirrored display.

For drones, it can be used to maintain situational awareness and direct line of sight while flying. Similarly, it can help professional cameramen in better monitoring live footage. The wearable display accepts 720p video signals and utilizes an LCOS panel to project a four-inch virtual display, approximately 12 inches from the wearer's eye.

Vufine+ offers three different modes that allow users to optimize the display according to the device they are using. These include Standard (for 16:9 viewing), Fit (for 33 percent increased landscape viewing in 4:3), and Zoom (for 77 percent increased portrait viewing in 4:3). Its internal battery can go up to 90 minutes on a single charge.

A magnetic docking station allows Vufine+ to be attached to just about any pair of glasses.

Best for Companies: Google Glass Enterprise Edition

Google Glass Enterprise Edition

Courtesy of Google

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.

Best Splurge: ODG R-9

ODG R-9

Courtesy of ODG

Have some serious disposable income? Look no further than ODG's R-9 extended reality smart glasses. Even though you need to reserve a pair in advance, the R-9 are every bit worth the wait.

Arguably among the most feature-packed smart eyewear out there, ODG R9 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 SoC, paired with 6GB of RAM. The smart glasses also have 128GB of internal storage and are backed by two (each 700mAh) lithium polymer batteries. At the front of the R-9 are dual stereoscopic displays, with each capable of projecting Full HD (1080p) content at 60fps. The glasses have a 50-degree field of view and support both 16:9 and 22:9 aspect ratios.

Apart from a pair of 5MP cameras for stereo capture and depth tracking, the R-9 have a 13MP AF camera that can record 4K (2160p) video at 30fps, as well as an ultra wide-angle fisheye camera that's used for enhanced environmental tracking and positioning.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS/GLONASS. The pair of smart glasses also has numerous sensors onboard, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. There's even altitude, humidity, and ambient light sensors thrown into the mix. For I/O, the R-9 have dual microphones, USB Type-C, and stereo speakers.

ODG's R-9 smart glasses run ReticleOS, a proprietary OS based on Android Nougat. This means that they can work with the millions of apps available on the Google Play Store.