Move over, smart watches—the future of wearable tech’s right in front of your face. HUD glasses are hitting the market, and they’ve come a long way since 2013. Computerized eyewear is ideal for “head-up devices” that let you focus on the task at hand instead of having to turn away to look at a smartphone or other device.
You may have heard of computerized eyewear before. Many people first encountered this concept with the revolutionary Google Glass glasses that select customers had the privilege of trying out for the first time. In today’s article, we are going to take a look at another revolutionary computerized eyewear product, we are talking about the HUD glasses. In our comprehensive review, we are going to take a look at what makes the HUD glasses so unique and all the features that these glasses have to offer. And unlike the select lucky customers that were able to play around with the Google Glass glasses, nearly anyone can purchase their own pair of Hud glasses as they are on the market open to everyone. Could this revolutionary pair of computerized glasses be the right fit for you? Read on to find out.
HUD glasses come a long way since Google Glass hit the market for select customers in 2013, began selling to the general market the following year, and then slammed the brakes. While Google has repurposed their AR devices for business and industrial uses Now, several years later, prices have gone down, functionality has gone up, and consumers have a range of products to choose from. What kind of features can you expect from your smart glasses? What do developers have in the works? And most importantly, how can you get your hands on the best device for you? Let’s take a look.
The obvious advantage when it comes to HUD tech is ease of use. A smartwatch might log your workout data, for example, and sync it with an app on your smartphone. It might notify you of incoming texts or emails. But all of these things require, at the very least, stopping what you’re doing, fiddling with buttons, and scrolling through a series of very small screens—all before dealing with the actual information. HUD glasses allow you to do all of these things with a much lower level of disruption.
For example, Let’s say you are on vacation and are biking around the beautiful streets of whatever historic city you are in. Suddenly, you might realize that you have no clue where you’re going. With computerized glasses like the HUD glasses, you simply give a couple of commands to pull out your navigation, and just like that, you have a map pulled out. Unlike a smartphone, you do not have to pause your activity, pull out your device, and search it up. This level of efficiency enhances your experience, but allows you to be more productive in whatever you are doing. At the same time, your glasses are recording your workout data—speed, distance, heart rate—and creating a log for you to share later with your online workout buddies. If you’re cycling in the gym, you can even spice up your session with a virtual environment. All of this—hands-free!
— Dana Williams (@DanaWilliams) July 19, 2017
Athletic uses are a no-brainer. Several of Wareable.com’s Best Smart Glasses of 2017 are aimed at fitness enthusiasts—cyclists in particular. But other models are integrating business functions, social media, health data, and even other smart devices in fascinating ways.
HUD Glasses: Alternatives to Google Glass.
Now that Google’s taken their computerized eyewear off the market, you may be looking for alternatives to Google Glass. Luckily, there are lots of HUD glasses on the market. Here are some recommendations from Wareable.Com and SmartWatches.Org.
1. Vuzix M100 HUD glasses are being marketed as an “Android-based wearable computer, enhanced with a wearable monocular display and computer, recording features and wireless connectivity capabilities designed for commercial, professional, and prosumer users.” They’re available for $800-$1000 on Amazon.
2. Optinvent Ora-1 lets you choose between AR mode, which is like having an 84-inch computer screen floating in front of you, and Glance, which moves content to the edges like Google Glass. It runs Android 4.2.2 and also comes with a 5mp camera, 1080p video camera, wifi, and GPS. You can pick these up on Amazon for around $800.00.
3. LaForge Optical Icis is less expensive and more minimalist. Instead of a full display, they display the various notifications, alerts, icons, and menus at the edges of your field of vision. Unlike the others, these look more like normal eyeglasses, and four attractive styles. They’re not out yet, but you can pre-order them from LaForge’s website for $549. They’re also working on a more full-featured set of HUD glasses.
4. Vue’s got prescription HUD glasses and sunglasses in the works with notifications, fitness tracking, gesture control, GPS for getting directions, reminders, and the ability to play music through bone conduction, rather than through earphones. You can also choose from a short list of styles and colors. Vue’s taking pre-orders via their website for $229.00.
4. Snapchat’s Spectacles have one function only: to record ten-second circular videos for the user to share on SnapChat. You can grab a pair for just $129 via the Snapchat website.
5. Amazon reading glasses. Amazon isn’t just selling HUD glasses, they’re working on their own version. Unlike the others, it won’t have a camera, The Guardian reports, but will instead link to Alexa, Amazon’s voice-controlled personal assistant. The Amazon reading glasses will use voice vibrations in the user’s skull to transmit the user’s voice commands to Alexa. This way, the user can easily play music, shop online, get weather reports, create shopping lists, find answers to questions, and all of the other things for which people have come to rely on Alexa.
These are but a few alternatives to Google Glass, which promise an exciting future in computerized eyewear.
Trends in computerized eyewear.
While there are many uses or HUD glasses, the trending uses are in the areas of health and fitness and in prescription eyewear. Let’s take a look at some trends.
— Kristen (@KristenTurzak) June 2, 2017
Health and Fitness. is a highly dynamic application of smart glasses technology, and one with enormous demonstrated consumer interest. With innovations such as brainwave detection and sound transmission through the bones of the head, computerized eyewear is perfectly placed to take over from other wearables. Not only are smart glasses currently on the market that can provide workout tracking functions and virtual environments, but there are other exciting developments on the way.
For example, Italian eyewear creator Safilo has partnered with Interaxon, the leading producer of consumer brain-sensing technology to create the Smith Lowdown Focus, released in the summer of 2017. The Lowdown Focus concerns itself with cognitive development, stress feedback, and meditation. The Meme, by Japanese company Jins, combines lifelogging tools with electrooculography sensors to keep track of the wearer’s attention, focus, and concentration level—and to alert drivers in danger of falling asleep behind the wheel. Smart glasses have also shown promise in clinical settings, for hands-free photo and video documentation, telemedicine, electronic records access, and more.
Prescription eyeglasses. When looking at smart glasses, it’s important to decide whether you want to incorporate an eyeglass prescription or not, as some products, like Snapchat’s Spectacles, do not offer that option. If you are a glasses-wearer, though, exciting advances are coming.
Google and Samsung both patented smart contact lenses in 2014, but TechCrunch reports smart glasses in development that could allow users to adjust their own prescription, or which alter their own treatment of light in response to users’ eye strain. Add a zoom option, and lighting enhancement and your $15 drugstore reading glasses won’t look like such a bargain anymore.
Soon there will even be computerized eyewear tech to help the visually impaired navigate their world—like the Aira system, which visually impaired marathoner Erich Manser paired with Google Glass to guide him when he ran the 2017 Boston Marathon.
One problem that has plagued computerized eyewear development has been finding the right balance between functionality and attractiveness. Cameras, sensors, and special lenses add weight and bulk. However, recent partnerships between eyewear designers and tech developers are making quick work of this as well.
Entertainment. Entertainment is another market for computerized eyewear and other head-up devices that is poised to explode. Because many models incorporate AR (augmented reality) technology, computerized eyewear and gaming naturally go hand in hand. The technology especially lends itself to location-based activities like geocaching and search games like Pokemon Go. ODG’s foray into consumer electronics has produced two “mixed reality” (VR and AR) glasses that allow users to interact with 3D objects that appear against a real-world background. They’re not on the market yet but are anticipated shortly. Will ODG’s small, sleek, easy-to-carry mixed reality glasses prove a worthwhile competitor to Microsoft’s mixed-reality Hololens headset? Only time will tell.
Should I buy HUD glasses?
Computerized eyewear is still in the early stages, which means they’re still pricey and have glitches to work out. If you’re an early adopter who’s eager to jump in regardless of the cost, go for it. If you’re on a budget or feeling hesitant, you may want to wait. The most important thing is to figure out what features you want. Are you looking for a lifelogging device? You’ll have your choice of dozens. Something to help with navigation? A camera? A social media interface? Fortunately for you, there are several. Identify the features that are most important to you, and those you can live without. Pick out your top two or three choices. It would be ideal if you had the opportunity to try them out to see how they work for you. Failing that, you should at least check the return policies and read as many reviews as you can. And remember–with wearable tech, as with anything else, you get what you pay for.