What’s the Big Deal With Smart Glasses?

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Tech insiders are excited about the possibilities that augmented reality brings to the table. However, people don’t generally walk around with their phones held out in front of them so they can see the augmented reality functions of their favorite apps. The most popular augmented reality app, after all, is Pokémon Go.

What kind of technology could make AR apps more popular? Some tech reviewers suggest that advancements in smart glasses could make AR mainstream. There’s only one problem with this year’s first-generation wave of high-tech headwear—they’re not ready yet.

Putting on Smart Glasses Whenever

Facebook hopes that customers will buy Ray-Ban Stories glasses and wear them daily to connect themselves to the Metaverse. In theory, this concept makes connecting to the Metaverse an integral part of everyday life. However, the reality isn’t that smooth.

Most people who wear prescription glasses need to wear their glasses all day to see their surroundings. If Facebook wants people to take their Stories Glasses everywhere, they need to make them compatible with people’s prescription lenses.

What’s more, Facebook’s Stories glasses aren’t augmented reality devices. True AR devices, like Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 glasses, are bulky gadgets that need to remain connected to external technology via dangling wires.

What’s the Point?

So, AR glasses are bulky, expensive, and don’t work for people who already need glasses. What’s the upside, then? Why would anyone get excited about these awkward headsets? Tech reviewers are interested in augmented reality lenses because they offer the potential for futuristic displays that connect directly to phones.

A common use case that developers discuss for augmented reality is enabling offsite work in factory or manufacturing settings. A remote worker could help their colleagues with complicated physical problems by directing someone wearing an augmented reality headset and pointing out what to do.

First Attempt

The initial wave of augmented reality glasses simply isn’t ready for everyday wear. They’re expensive devices that don’t work with prescription lenses and offer only limited battery life. When the technology matures, however, it will become something more impressive than a see-through heads-up display.

This technology is exciting, but it’s still new. As companies like Meta and Qualcomm struggle to agree on a cohesive control scheme for their glasses, customers largely don’t understand why they should even own a headset that overlays digital images into the real world.

As AR technology advances, tech enthusiasts foresee a world where people have advanced sensor suites on their glasses. For now, manufacturers need to figure out how to incorporate prescription lenses into their headsets.