Remember Google Glass – are Smartglasses coming back?

Google Glass

Remember Google Glass? Google started selling a prototype of Google Glass to qualified “Glass Explorers” in the U.S. in 2013, for a limited period for $1,500, before it became available to the public in 2014.

A not real successful launch and a long time ago in terms of technology innovation. It had an integral 5-megapixel still/720p video camera and was a bit clumsy. The headset did receive a great deal of criticism as well, amid concerns that its use could violate existing privacy laws. News Forecasters asks, are smartglasses coming back to be the next “big thing” for the gadget buffs?

It’s not just Google. There are about a dozen or so smartglass manufactures. Many focus on industrial use but others for general public use as well. Smartglasses have made the top 15 coolest new gadgets to come out for 2019 in Esquire Magazine – so it is on the minds of a few.

Back in 2013, Google Glass before its release to the general public was cited over concerns over potential privacy-violating capabilities. Facilities, such as Las Vegas casinos, banned Google Glass, citing their desire to comply with Nevada state law and common gaming regulations which ban the use of recording devices near gambling areas. Privacy concerns were the key reason Google Glass did not take off. The shock of the lack of privacy was just too much for many for the product to be accepted into public use – but that was 2013 and now it is 2019, things change.

Whether you agree or disagree, the concept of having any privacy has eroded. Public surveillance cameras are commonplace now. It is now well understood that we now have little privacy from privacy revelations made over the last 5 years – our internet presence, social media, and governments. The public has reluctantly accepted this lack of privacy. So the key reason Google Glass did not take off in 2014 no longer exists. Some regulations around this may occur – i.e. prohibition signage and/or red light smartglass identifier indicating scanning in progress – but even these regulations may get relaxed in time, as more technology adoption occurs.

Today smartglass technology is still not all there – but very close. News Forecasters identifies here what we feel will be the key attributes of smartglasses that will be needed in order to be a successful gadget:

  • Integration to one’s smartphone – call, messaging and other smartphone apps.
  • Integration to one’s smartphone’s personal assistant (e.g. Apple’s Siri).
  • Reasonable forward-viewing and rear-view (for wink control, if necessary) video camera, mic, and sound. These elements need to be designed in a way not easily seen by others.
  • Easy to read transparent smartglass displays – in all types of lighting conditions.
  • Integration to mapping services.
  • Stylish prescription and sunglass options.
  • Ease of mounting and dismounting on one’s face and into its charger.
  • Battery life for at least one day – without making the smartglass bulky.
  • Wink (or other non-external device – e.g. hand motion, but not like another device like a ring on finger control) application control (the winking of the right, left or both eyes to control the application).
  • Optional motion detections, infrared and other smartglass detectors – GPS will still be held in the smartphone.
  • Open software architecture for smartglass applications.
  • The initial low end starting price point of $500.00 or less.

Smartglasses will be an interim technology until brain implant solutions can be found and accepted by the markets. Tesla founder Elon Musk has already launched a tech startup Neuralink to build implants that connect human brains with computer interfaces via artificial intelligence. But this may take 10 to 20 years until brant plant solutions are fully developed – a reasonable product life cycle period for any gadget like a smartglass. Besides many of the applications developed for smartglasses can be adapted later for brain implants.

Again, agree or disagree, News Forecasters believes we are about 1 to 5 years away from the smartglass market exploding. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, though for sure many will find this adaptation difficult.

A video presentation of this subject:


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