New styles of eyeglasses frames? Different set of lens coating? What will be the future of eyewear? In contrast with what happened at the International Consumer Electronics Show or International CES on January 5 to 8 in Las Vegas, which—obviously—doesn’t involve any eyeglasses frame or coating, and if you’re looking at it on a technological point of view, smart glasses are back with a vengeance as seen at CES 2017 and we’ve listed some of the must-tries below:
According to its inventor, PogoTec, it is the smallest wearable camera in the world. It’s so small it can be attached to an eyewear. In a Business Wire article, it measures 10.9 x 12.5 x 42. 8 mm. It can be attached magnetically to an eyewear with a proprietary track called PogoTrack. What can it do? Well, typical camera things like it “can capture and store 100 still photographs or up to two minutes of continuous 720p HD video at 30 frames/second with full audio,” Business Wire explains.
New Glass C200
A camera on an eyeglasses frame does not sound pretty impressive but it could turn an ordinary eyewear into a spy gadget. Lenovo’s New Glass C200 sings a different tune specifically designed for business customers. It is a type of smart glasses where augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI) are rolled into one, ZDNet reports.
R-8 and R-9
Osterhout Design Group (ODG) introduced the first-ever Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 smart glasses in their R-8 and R-9. In a press release from ODG, the sleek and small design of R-8 is perfect for “early consumer adopters, providing access to movies, sports, gaming, navigation and news articles and books. While R-9 that won three CES 2017 Innovation Award categories has 50˚ FOV (field-of-view) and a 1080p Project Horizon platform.
This wearable of Vuzix leans on the sunglasses side and a winner of four awards in CES 2017. It bagged the Computer Accessories Product, Gaming Product, Virtual Reality Product, and Wireless Handset Accessories Product awards. Based on their website, it runs on Android, with “Cobra” display engines and sports Vuzix’s see-through waveguide optics. Blade 3000’s eyeglasses frame and lenses resemble regular sunglasses as shown above. Stylish, right?
Besides its interesting background, Aira serves the true and original purpose of glasses—to help see. In Aira’s case, it’s the blind. It doesn’t correct vision though but relies on remote assistive technology. The blind customer is assisted by an Aira Agent (not an AI but a real person) to perform daily activities such as navigating thru streets. In short, the Aira Agent’s job description is to be a visual interpreter for the blind. However, it does have privacy and security issues that need to be addressed like how reliable and trustworthy the agent is.
We’re not sure if this going to be a trend but it looks like we’re heading to that direction. Even the tech giant Apple wants to have one on their line of products (iGlass?).
Back to our hanging question: what will be the future of eyewear 10 to 20 years from now? It is a future where choosing the right eyeglasses frame is the least of our worries because we’re more concerned if it runs on Android, iOS, or Windows. Richard Clompus of PogoTec in his interview in Business Wire hit the nail when he said: “Eyeglasses are arguably the world’s oldest, most successful wearable technology.” It is just getting cooler, smarter, and better through the years and beyond.