How Smart Glasses Could Make You a Better Athlete

See time and distance without looking down

  • A new smart glasses model is aimed at athletes and displays information in front of your eyes. 
  • The ENGO 2 glasses are one of a growing number of smart glasses.
  • Experts say smart glasses may soon replace your other mobile computer displays.
The Engo 2, lightweight smart glasses for athletes.

ENGO Eyewear

Your next pair of glasses could have a smart display that shows information in front of your eyes and could even make you a better athlete. 

The ENGO 2 glasses were recently released with a heads-up display experience with gesture control and a 12-hour battery life. The $329 glasses are aimed at endurance athletes and show speed and other data on a transparent display that presents data without requiring users to look away from their other activities. It's part of a growing number of smart glasses hitting stores and online retailers. 

"The HUD display on glasses is great for providing supplemental information and instructional overlays," tech analyst Bob Bilbruck, the CEO of Captjur, told Lifewire in an email interview. "Much like in many automobiles today, a HUD display can provide information or status without taking your eyes off the main task."

Smarter Glasses

The ENGO 2 features high-definition optics, moisture and dust resistance, impact protection, and ultraviolet protection.

"The ActiveLook 2.0 technology embedded in ENGO 2 gives users greater ability to customize the data projected into their field of view based on what is most useful to them," Eric Marcellin-Dibon, ENGO Eyewear CEO, said in the news release. "Garmin users now have the ability to connect an array of compatible watches and cycling computers and configure and view custom data fields directly in ENGO 2."

Bilbruck said glasses with heads-up displays could be useful for athletes. "When running and getting split times, an athlete does not want to look down at a watch—a heads-up display in their glasses will be hugely useful in keeping them in the training that they are in without breaking stride," he added. 

Pam Nisevich-Bede, a 7-time Boston Marathon runner, said in the news release that by having your pace always available at a glance, "there's no need to question 'is your exertion correct? Is your pace correct?' It's right in front of you. Having the data in real-time can give you confidence with executing the plan because anytime you can chip away at that properly designed plan and see it come to life, confidence just builds."

A Growing Number of Smart Glasses

The ENGO 2 is only one of many smart glasses on the market. Other models offer mixed reality,   a term used to describe the merging of a real-world environment and a computer-generated one. The current crop of mixed reality glasses includes the Google Glass Enterprise 2, Microsoft HoloLens 2, Lenovo ThinkReality A3, and the Vuzix Blade. 

"All four of these are pretty good, but you will see that today they are mostly used for industrial or factory automation,”  Bilbruck noted. “In the future, you will see these models meld with the innovations from other AR Glasses geared toward metaverse and the gaming areas of the smart glasses market—one ring to rule them all is coming soon.”

Smart-powered glasses will become the norm, and all the other displays in our life will go away, including the way the current phone looks and works.

Perhaps the most anticipated pair of smart glasses is the upcoming headset that Apple is rumored to be making. Details are slim, but noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said recently on Twitter that the headset will be expensive and run its own operating system. His latest report claims that the headset may not hit stores until late next year. 

The Apple glasses are expected to be lightweight, but most current smart glasses are too bulky for everyday use. The ENGO 2 is an exception, with a weight of 36 grams; however, it has a limited number of features. 

Bilbruck predicted that future smart glasses will be light and have more powerful displays along with high-speed 5G data connections. He said that glasses would be so comfortable that you will use them in your job, gaming, metaverse, and while driving. 

"Smart-powered glasses will become the norm, and all the other displays in our life will go away, including the way the current phone looks and works," he added. "On-body computing and voice-activated services will be the norm; nobody will have to push buttons anymore or lift a phone to talk. You will have an on-body powerful 5G-enabled computer that will help you with your daily tasks. This will replace the phone and your other computing devices."

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