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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Explained: What are smart glasses and how do they work?

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While they may not have taken off like smartwatches or fitness bands, smart glasses are tipped to be the next thing to watch out for in the wearables market. Brands like Amazon, Bose already have their offerings and augmented reality (AR) is expected to give it a further push in utility as well. But what really are smart glasses and how do they work? We explain the basics of smart glasses.


What are smart glasses?

Simply put, glasses that offer wireless connectivity and many ‘smart’ features right in those frames. These smart glasses can allow you to reply to messages, answer calls, listen to music, speak to a voice assistant, and much more. Most smart glasses require Bluetooth connectivity to use most of the above features.


How do smart glasses work?

Smart glasses have sensors inside them — some are AR enabled — that allow them to be ‘smart’ and offer a multitude of features. These glasses look pretty much the same as ‘normal’ glasses but might be thicker on the sides. There’s a microphone embedded in most smart glasses, which can be used to answer calls, give commands to a voice assistant and more. You will also find a very tiny processor in the arms of the frames. Qualcomm has Snapdragon XR1 processor that enables some of these features to work smoothly.
The lenses on smart glasses can be your regular lenses or slightly smarter. You can find blue light filter lenses if you stare at screens for long duration or there are smart lenses, which become a shade darker when lighting conditions change. Do note that smart lenses haven’t gone mainstream in India.

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What’s the state of smart glasses in India?

In 2020, Reliance Jio announced smart glasses called Jio Glass. At that time, Jio had said that the Jio Glass would use a combination of AR and VR and help video conferencing make better. The smart glasses from Jio would support all audio and video formats along with support for video conferencing apps as well. It’s been more than a year and very little is know about the Jio Glass pricing or availability.
You can also get Bose Frame — Bluetooth-enabled smart glasses from the audio brand. Bose Frames retail at Rs 21,999 and have a microphone integrated for making calls among other things.
Snapchat’s Spectacles 3 are another option that is available in India. Rather funky looking frames, Spectacles 3 lets you capture a 10-second 3D video with the press of a button. Spectacles 3 come with a portable Charging Case, which can deliver up to 4 charges at a time. Priced at Rs 29,999, these glasses have built-in GPS and GLONASS as well.


Should you buy smart glasses?

The tech is still in a very nascent stage and the full potential hasn’t been utilised. As AR and VR support in the glasses increases, chances are that glasses will become really smart. As of now, you can get them if you want to spend a lot on a “cool” pair of glasses but the utility value as of now remains low for most people to spend this kind of money on a pair of spectacles.

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