High Tech Glasses

High Tech Glasses

When high tech glasses first came to market, many people were excited. Unfortunately, Google Glass never caught on with the general public because of its impracticality and privacy concerns.

These Echo Frames put Amazon’s voice assistant on your face, letting you control your smart home, get notifications and play music without anyone else hearing it. The frames are also IPX4-rated for fending off sweat and splashes.

Self-Focusing Lenses

Few people associate eyewear with cutting-edge innovations, but scientists are constantly working to make glasses smarter. One team has developed a prototype pair that automatically adjusts their optical power based on what the wearer is looking at.

The glasses from Israeli startup Deep Optics contain liquid-crystal lenses that can continuously refocus. When you look at something close up, they can inject more fluid to make objects clear (for myopia) or remove it to correct blurry vision (for hyperopia). A dial on the side of the frames lets you select the desired prescription. You can also use an app to calibrate them before wearing them and update your prescription as needed.

Infrared sensors on the bridge of the glasses measure the distance to an object, then tell a built-in processor how to change the lenses’ optical power. A series of transparent pistons inside the lenses shift their curvature, making them more convex for nearsighted users or more concave for farsighted ones. This happens in 14 milliseconds, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances.

The team has a bulky prototype, but its cofounder and CEO Yariv Haddad believes it could be a useful aid for people with presbyopia—the common inability to focus on nearby objects that occurs as you age. Currently, those with presbyopia typically need high tech glasses bifocals or reading glasses to see clearly both near and far.

Ballistic Eyewear

For anyone in the military, on a law enforcement or rescue squad, or in any other high-risk job, protective eyewear is an essential piece of equipment. This can help guard against physical hazards like dirt and sand; chemical sprays; bloodborne pathogens; or even intense heat, light and glare.

Ballistic lenses offer an additional layer of protection. These lenses are designed to resist high-velocity impact from small projectiles like shrapnel. Ballistic eyewear can be combined with all the other features found on regular safety glasses and goggles, such as fog-proof technology and anti-slip frames, making them an ideal choice for people who work in hazardous conditions.

While ANSI Z87.1-2020 is the stamp of approval for protective eyewear built for civilians, military standards are much higher. To earn an APEL (Authorized Protective Eyewear List) certification, military-grade glasses and goggles must pass two primary Military Ballistic Standards, MIL-PRF-31013 for spectacles and MIL-DTL-43511D for goggles. Eyewear that passes these tests and additional criteria may be listed as APEL-approved, meaning it can be worn by individuals serving in the US military.

Some of the best ballistic lenses on the market are created by a company called CTRL. Their world-record-breaking tint-changing eyewear is able to switch from clear to dark in just 0.1 second, giving you the visibility you need for tactical situations where every second counts.

Multi-Device Compatibility

If you love a particular app or website and want to be able to access it on your smart glasses, the right pair of high tech glasses can help. The Snap Spectacles 3 is compatible with iOS and Android devices, which means you can connect your phone, tablet or computer to the device and have all of your favorite apps on hand at any time.

The augmented reality feature on the Snap Spectacles 3 makes it easy to see just-in-time hands-free information, such as navigation and weather updates. It also lets you create and view your own list of favorite sites for quick reference. Its battery lasts up to two hours when in use.

If your lifestyle requires a lot of spoken audio, such as podcasts and audiobooks, there are audio glasses with built-in Alexa that can read aloud text from your smartphone or other device and let you know when new messages come in. These types of glasses usually offer a variety of features, including beam-forming microphones and bone-conduction technology to ensure your ears are well-protected.

If you prefer a more discreet option, check out the Vuzix Blade Upgraded. It merges digital instructions with the real world using its waveguide optics, removing distractions and vision occlusion while increasing productivity. The device is designed to be lightweight and is protected against dust, water and debris. It also boasts a touchpad and head motion tracking and is equipped with a voice recognition system, a 8MP camera and noise-canceling mics.

Voice Control

For high tech glasses to truly take off, they need to be easy high tech glasses for wearers to use. That means that voice control is a must.

For those that already use Amazon Alexa at home, these glasses allow users to bring the virtual assistant with them on the go. Simply connect the devices to a smartphone via Bluetooth, say “Alexa,” and the glasses’ built-in microphones are activated to begin listening. You can then ask questions, listen to music or podcasts, call friends and family, adjust connected smart devices, and receive notifications right in your ear.

The frames themselves are crafted from lightweight magnesium-titanium alloy and carbon fiber, and they feature two tiny OLED displays for each eye (one for the left and one for the right) with a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. They’re also equipped with a touchpad on the rim, a micro speaker for audio feedback and voice commands, and a microphone for hands-free calls.

While the first iteration of Google Glass may have fallen flat with the general public, its successor is making headway in workplace settings. Project Glass 2.0 features a sturdier frame, better speakers and higher battery life, along with more robust support for calendars and meeting reminders. It can even record video to capture a work environment, making it ideal for remote assistance, training and work instruction.