Smart-Glasses are by far the most exciting thing in tech right now as far as I’m concerned. Recently we’ve seen several examples of different approaches, and different features coming to market. Intel has a prototype which displays text in the eye-line for a minimual distraction approach. North have their Focals 2.0 which offer something at the other end of the spectrum, with an interface more akin to a smart watch.
And then we get to the other types of Smart Glasses. The Amazon Echo Frames and Bose Frames both use a similar style of directional audio to either give you music or responses to your Alexa queries. This tech which allows you (and theoretically only you) to hear decent quality sound while keeping your ears open to the world, or your colleagues for example, is really cool. And then there are video recording glasses such as the Snap Spectacles. The Spectacles 3 don’t let your record video in the way I would like to allow me to film a bicycle ride for example, but they do appear to have the tech inside to allow it if they chose to do so. Which means that someone else can do it, and very likely will do very soon.
But what we’re really after is the melding of all of these functions in one product. High quality video recording, voice assistant built in, high quality directional sound, a screen or projection system which provides you with important, contextual information (such as cycling directions), and top it off with great battery life. That’s what’s exciting me right now.
Who’s going to be the one to do it? Google, Apple, Intel, or will it be a company like HTC, who could take a punt on it in the same way they did with the Vive VR?
Personally it doesn’t bother me who. I’d love to see everyone get involved. But after watching a comprehensive review of the North glasses, I’m not convinced that the full smartwatch type experience is the one. It looks impressive, but I don’t think it’s the right approach in this market. Just like we found out with smart watches, we don’t need a watch app equivalent to every app on our phones. Workout apps yes, but not a lot else in my view. So I think the novelty would wear out incredibly quickly. Quicker than when I upgraded my Nintendo 3DS to a New 3DS XL.