A move from smartphones to smart specs within the decade


Within the next decade opticians will be selling “enhanced glasses” with augmented reality functionality in the same way they sell blue light filters for specs, or sunglasses today.

I think, much like smartphones today, there will be different operating systems – initially a ‘Wild West’ style free-for-all with every man, woman and anteater attempting to create their own.

Eventually it will follow similar lines to the smartphone market, an Apple operating system – maybe GlassesOS, restricted to Apple made hardware.

There will inevitably be an Android/Google and an Android/Facebook version that is made freely available to manufacturers and runs on multiple devices. The main differentiator of these will be the services.

Initially control will be from a smartphone, which will also act as the processor, but like smart watches are getting smarter, eventually so will glasses.

In fact, an Apple smart specs may be controllable via an Apple Watch, Android Watch or other wrist-based sensor – allowing you to type on any surface by monitoring muscle movements in the arms and fingers.

Facebook is developing a similar technology and it could be available alongside its smart glasses later this year.

The social media giant is working on a wearable wrist sensor linked to augmented reality glasses that would allow you to type on any surface with a simple tap or snap of your fingers.

‘We’re developing natural, intuitive ways to interact with always-available AR glasses because we believe this will transform the way we connect with people near and far,’ according to Facebook.

‘Imagine being able to teleport anywhere in the world to have shared experiences with the people who matter most in your life — no matter where they happen to be,’ says Andrew Bosworth, who leads the AR team at Facebook.

Google made an early foray into the world of smart eyewear with the launch of the ill-fated Google Glass in 2013, that were doomed to failure and controversial due in part to the bulky nature, but also the always on recording.

The world of 2021 is a different place to 2013 though, and the concept of life streaming, sharing everything, managed privacy and data protection are more developed.

Smart Glasses and the related sensor hardware are expected to become big business, claiming a substantial slice of the predicted $198 billion global augmented reality market.

You can read more about Facebook’s new wrist sensor in an article I wrote for MailOnline: Forget your mouse and keyboard! Facebook is developing a wrist sensor that will let you type on ANY surface simply by tapping on it and click by physically snapping your fingers

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