Smart Glasses

New Emerging Electronic Gadget

by Leila Montazeri

  Leila Montazeri is PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal

Leila Montazeri is PhD candidate at Polytechnique School of Montreal

Smart glasses, which can be described as an evolution of the smartphone, are a wearable computer offering the user all of the benefits of a smartphone without the need to hold the device in front of the eyes. Looking like a science-fiction gadget, smart glasses add information to wearer's vision field through a head mounted display (HMD) or a transparent heads-up display. They offer the user all of the benefits of a smartphone without the need to hold the device in front of the eyes.

Modern smart glasses also allow the user to browse the Internet, get directions to locations, send text messages and take pictures. Moreover, they can download and run a variety of mobile apps. While many tasks can be done through voice commands there are still some functions which require additional controls such as touchpad buttons.

Typical tasks that can be done with smart glasses are taking pictures, record a video, sending text messages, making phone call, browsing internet, getting directions, and making video calls. There are some more advanced ones featuring life logging and activity tracking, though.

They should usually connect via WIFI or Bluetooth to a mobile phone in order to synchronize the two devices and be able to remotely control the phone and its communication data such as calls, messages, emails and notifications [1].

Smart glasses address several possible applications which can be categorized as documentation, productivity, universal remote control, medical, education, entertainment, commerce and sports [2]. 

Documentation: Smart glasses provide the wearer with the opportunity of capturing personal experiences thanks to the capability of taking pictures and videos hands-free without occluded sight and from the point of view of the user. The captured pictures and recorded videos can be uploaded to create a documentation to be served as a memory aid, surveillance and other personal use.

Productivity: Smart glasses might increase the productivity in many ways. In cars they could be used to highlight the way and propose a speed for the driver. In warehouses they could be used to navigate employees to the objects they need to transport highlighting those with some color.

Universal remote control: Smart glasses could be used as universal remote control. The user could spawn an augmented control of any compatible device at any time and use this to interact with the device through gestures. Examples would be an augmented television remote, music, heat, light, oven, and security system or camera control. 

Medical: Smart glasses can be useful in assisting and navigating blind or visually impaired people. It would also be possible to have subtitles for deaf people. Speech recognition would have to improve and the glasses would have to be able to distinguish different voices. They can also be useful for physicians and surgeons by providing augmented information of patients.

Education: Virtual reality glasses could be used to teach history by allowing the students to view historical sites not only through textbooks but in a virtual 3D world in which they could move around freely.

Entertainment: Smart glasses could also be used for a virtual reality cinema experience as well as augmented reality games. 

Sports: Smart glasses are perfect for displaying information during a sport activity. The information that is useful for a person doing sports would be performance measurement, performance comparison, maybe navigation, notifications about weather or messages and so forth. 


1. Due, B.L., The future of smart glasses: An essay about challenges and possibilities with smart glasses. Working papers on interaction and communication, 2014. 1(2), 1-21.

2. Schweizer, H., Smart glasses: technology and applications.