What Are Smart Glasses? Background, Functionality, and More!

Smart glasses are here to stay. But before you run out and buy a set, it’s important to understand what you need to know about smart glasses. These glasses will give you a second screen and allow you to interact with them. You’ll be able to use them for all purposes that we will discuss in the following article.

what are smart glasses
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The worldwide popularity of these glasses is rising too quickly. Some glasses are wireless, which means that work with your smartphone.

Others can be combined with a computer, and so much more. Because of that, Smart Glasses are becoming more and more popular among people.

These devices are like a near-future technology experience. If you are looking for a way to keep up with the smart glasses trend, then this blog is for you.

What are Smart Glasses?

Smart glasses are electronic glasses that add information to what the user sees in front of their eyes. Similar to a computer, smart glasses can collect information from internal or external sensors.

They can control or download data from other tools or computers. Likewise, they can support wireless technologies such as:


Some models support mobile operating systems and act as portable media players to send audio and video files to users via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi headsets. 

They can be used for various purposes, such as navigation, getting weather forecasts, or playing games.

Because of their digital nature, they don’t have physical buttons. They are also more comfortable to use than other digital devices.  

Also, they have incorporated microphones, speakers, and cameras.

History of Smart Glasses

In 2014 Google launched the first AR glasses on the market: Google Glass. Its main purpose was to show users smartphone information without the need to use their hands, through voice control and the screen visible on the lens.

The operating system was Android. Project Glass was part of the company’s Google X division, which was working on other top-notch technologies such as self-driving cars. 

Babak Parviz, an electrical engineer working on lenticular display installations from Google launched the project; Steve Lee, project leader, and positioning expert; and Sebastian Thrun, who developed the online university Udacity and worked on the Google Car Autopilot project. 

On January 15, 2015, the company announced that it had completed production of the Glass prototype.

However, either by design or price, this model was not as successful as they expected. Since then, brands like Apple, Xiaomi, Microsoft, and Huawei have launched their smart glasses allowing the user to take photos and videos, post them directly to social networks, listen to music or make phone calls.

Functions of Smart Glasses

Smart glasses have the potential to change the way we use our smartphones and the way we interact with the world around us. They can help us with:

Quick Access to Information: This function is also available on smartphones and tablets, but the difference is that thanks to smart glasses we can immediately access information on the internet about what is in front of us.
Take Pics or Record Video: Smart glasses include cameras to film or take pictures quickly only in the blink of an eye.
Voice Command: They are a fundamental part of these devices as many of them are controlled by our voices. Some of the functions include accepting calls, taking photos and videos, and asking questions.
Quickly AR: Just by focusing on a place and with the help of Augmented Reality (AR), we get all the information available on the Internet about that place. For example, you could receive opinions and referential images of a place that you’re seeing. Or maybe, you could get nutritional information about a snack you want to eat.
Help With Fitness Lifestyle: Just like smartphones or smartwatches, smart glasses will allow us to keep track of our exercise, running, time in the gym, sports, etc.

How Does a Smart Glass Work?

Smart glasses are built to have sensors on their frame. Some of them even have Augmented Reality technology, which allows them to be smart and offer a multitude of functions. 

These glasses look very similar to regular glasses but can be thinner on the sides. Here’s what makes them so special.


In most smart glasses there is an embedded microphone that can be used to answer calls on command to a voice assistant and more. You will also find a very small processor in the frame.


At the bottom of the earpiece, there’s a speaker for wireless audio input and cell phone reception. Sound is transmitted to the ear by conduction through the bones, not by air conduction through the ear canal.


Placed on top of the lens, this projection method, known as a curved mirror or curved combination mirror, provides a partially transparent digital display without blocking your view of the real world. 

Some manufacturers now offer an alternative version called holographic waveguide optics.


The camera is usually placed on the sides of the frame, making it as unobtrusive as possible and able to capture photos or videos in just a blink of an eye.


Smart Glasses are designed with different materials. According to that, their prices in the market could be higher or lower.

Here you can see some materials that Smart Glasses are built with:

Solid Weighing Device (SPD): SPD consists of small solid particles suspended in a liquid and coated between two thin layers of PET-ITO to form a film. It covers and cools interiors by blocking up to 99% of artificial or natural light within seconds of a voltage change.
Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC): The PDLC film technology used to create smart glasses consists of liquid crystals, a material that behaves as liquid and solid composites dispersed in polymers.
Electrochromic Device (ECD): Electrochromic safety glasses filter both light and heat from sunlight. ECD technology is different from PDLC and SPD technology, which affects both its opacity and transition time.

Types Of Smart Glasses

There are many different types of Smart Glasses versions and all of them may have something that the other won’t. 

But you don’t need to worry. The best thing about this type of product is that it can be customized to your needs. You can choose from different types of lenses and frames. But be careful, because they have a specific type of use.

Here you can see the most common.

Monocular Smart GlassesA smart monocular is a head-mounted display in which the optical engine is located in one of the lenses, from there you get the name  “monocular”.
Binocular Smart GlassesHMD binoculars come with 2 transparent LCD screens to provide users with a stereoscopic view.
Audio AR GlassesAR glasses are augmented reality devices that you can use for gaming.
Immersive or Mixed Reality Smart GlassesThese devices are fully immersive and use inclusive standalone systems that have the best displays and allow you to show 3D objects. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrap Up

Smart Glasses can be quite useful when you have one and you don’t have a smartphone or a way to get fast information about a product, service, or place.

These glasses are one of the simplest forms of technology that you can find. Throughout the years, they have evolved from the simple form of reading glasses to the more advanced form of smart glasses. 

Within the last few years, these devices have been one of the most breathable and advanced forms of glasses. 

They are a great form of technology because they are easily accessible and can easily be purchased at a variety of prices – according to materials and usability.

Particularly, I wouldn’t buy one. But if you want to have an immersive experience and the possibility to feel like you are a special agent, this gadget is for you.

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Alberto Araujo
Alberto Araujo

Alberto Araujo is a former tech support professional that had a change of heart and now aims to write top-notch tech content for his readers. Writer, digital nomad, tech-geek and hunger for knowledge, that’s how you can describe him. If you want to learn about technology, building PCs, and software applications to make your life easier, his content is for you.

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