The majority of tech giants are chasing AR, including wearables like Augmented Reality glasses – which are expected later this year:
So what are AR glasses?
If you’ve played Pokemon Go, or any smartphone app where digital items are placed in your camera view, you’ve already experience Augmented Reality.
Effectively, smart glasses mount a digital display, microphone, and speakers onto your glasses. Allowing for digital data to stream into your viewpoint. The challenge is creating a way to interact with your augmented reality perspective – and devices are coming for that too.
Simply put, the future appears to be AR, with tech giants even offering prescription lenses (see below).
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With AR glasses coming from Amazon, Google, and more, we’ve picked out the three we expect to see make it into the mainstream:
Facebook Ray Ban Smart Glasses
After the rebranding of VR leader Oculus to Facebook Reality Labs, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was launching Augmented Reality glasses in 2021.
This move was termed as the next step on the road of AR by the social media giant:
And they’re taking it very seriously. Proven by the company having a 6,000 person strong workforce building its wearable devices and software.
A product video was launched (above) that showed the concept and research behind the product. It also showed that Facebook AR glasses will be providing consumers with features including street directions, music recommendations, visual alerts that show you where you lost your keys, and many more tools that’ll make the glasses an intriguing wearable device.
However, the reason we see these smart glasses being #1 is because of the branding. They’re Ray-Ban, so expect celebrities wearing them – which will drive influencer (and consumer) interest.
There is no confirmed release date or price but they are expected to launch during summer 2021. And as they’re branded Ray-Ban, expect designer prices.
Once upon a time, a secret team consisting of hundreds of Apple employees was working on Augmented and Virtual Reality devices:
The secret is now mainstream knowledge, with Apple revealing the product in the above video.
Since then, it has also been rumored that the secret team was also working on an augmented reality headset along with the above Apple Glass device.
No solid release date has been given yet, with some predicting late 2021, and others stating 2022.
The glasses are similar to ordinary glasses, with both lenses featuring a display that could be interacted with using gestures.
The price of the Apple Glass is expected to be around $499, with prescription lenses available at an additional cost.
Like with anything Apple, expect huge queues and waiting lists (this is why they’re our #2).
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Vuzix Augmented Reality Glasses
You might not know Vuzix but if you want AR glasses in 2021, they could be the front-runner (and the future of the tech).
Vuzix already has AR glasses on the market – but they are returning with a hugely improved product in 2021.
Advancements include micro-led technology that was developed in collaboration with the Chinese firm Jade Bird Display. This technology allows Vuzix to fit powerful display projectors on both sides of the glasses giving an amazing AR experience (watch the video above for more on that).
The glasses also support WiFi and LTE. They also include stereo speakers and a noise-cancelling microphone.
These Vuzix Augmented Reality glasses do not have an official date or name as of yet but they are expected to be in the market by this summer.
They are our #3 because people chasing the best tech on market will buy them, review them, and word-of-mouth will drive interest.
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