bhalle

A New View of Smart Glasses

Blog Post created by bhalle on Feb 5, 2016

It’s becoming obvious that wearables are a rapidly growing market. While smart watches are becoming more popular, Fitbit rules the wearables. Our wrists are covered but what about our faces?

 

Smart glasses had a rough start when Google Glass was introduced. The clunky design wrapped wearers in a nerd banner. The media had us convinced that people only wore them in order to take pictures without our permission. Some wearers worsened the situation by walking around talking to their glasses and ignoring other humans. Outrage and derision best described that product launch.

 

Smart glasses are considered a growing market but that market isn’t the average consumer. It’s corporate. Privacy is less of a concern and so is design. One application with enormous potential is live video streaming. Surgeons can use the glasses to train students, who effectively see exactly what the doctor sees. Sports trainers can work more accurately when they see through the eyes of the athlete who wears smart glasses while pole vaulting.

 

SmartSpecs are glasses which enhance the view for the legally blind. For people with some degree of remaining sight, these glasses dramatically improve their vision. Nearby views are captured and put into high contrast. The background is erased. The cartoon-like images are then presented to the viewer in near real time. Furniture and doorways become visible and are no longer hazards. If the type of visual impairment responds to the imaging, people are seeing shapes and faces for the first time.

 

There are hurdles. The current 30 minute battery life is one. The glasses also heat up to the point where it becomes uncomfortable for the user. Google is working on these physical issues but still has problems regarding the “glasshole” factor. Size, weight and power are a concern for both military and industrial use. Sign into Limelight Connect to check out this great article by @Charlie Kraus about converting video content to all formats.

 

I guess it’s only a matter of time before your shirt tells you that you have poor posture, your pants say that even one doughnut was too much and your necktie says you made a questionable career choice. Let’s enjoy this innocent time when most of us have dumb and silent wearables.

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