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Try Glasses on Your Photo Online to Find the Perfect Frames

Finding new glasses that fit your face is a chore and a half, and often an expensive one. Even though a large percentage of the population has to wear glasses, finding the right frames can remain frustratingly tough.

Fortunately, there has been a rise in online “frame finder” services that allow you to add glasses to your photo. The purpose of these virtual booths? To help you pick out your eyewear for free.

Here’s a list of the best websites that allow you to find picture-perfect glasses.

Vint and York Buy Retro Sunglasses

In truth, this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about finding sunglass photo editors. Back in 2009, we wrote about FrameFinder: an online application that lets you browse through glasses and virtually try them on.

If you were planning to buy eyeglasses or sunglasses and you weren’t sure if they fit, FrameFinder had a solution. The website was simple to use: first, you created an account, then you uploaded your picture.

After that, you followed step-by-step instructions to put sunglasses on a picture.

FrameFinder is currently unavailable, but in its place, we’ve found newer sites like Vint and York. Vint and York is a New York-based company. It has a “Virtual try-on” feature that works in a similar manner.

Vint and York’s try-on feature is easy to use. To add glasses to a photo, go to the website. From there:

  1. Click Try on frames to browse through the catalog.
  2. Find a pair of glasses that you like.
  3. Press View Details on the individual pair of glasses.
  4. Click the Virtual try-on button.

You can either take a picture of yourself with your webcam or upload a picture of yourself from your device:

Vint and York Try Glasses on Your Photo

Note: Not all frames will be available for a Virtual try-on. The website lets you know which ones are available and which ones aren’t.

Vint and York has a ton of great reviews, and you can browse for glasses by filtering through product lines, your face shape, style of glasses, or color.

Additional Features

  • The company also has a men’s and women’s look book, where you can draw inspiration for your own style.
  • Under the Customer Care section, Vint and York has detailed instructions on how it handles shipping and returns.
  • There is also a general FAQ on the company’s products and the materials they use.

The cool thing about this website? Vint and York specializes in “vintage-inspired and retro eyeglasses and sunglasses.” So if you’re looking for a pair of frames that are stylish, this website is a great place to start.

EyeBuyDirect Virtual Try On

Like Vint and York, EyeBuyDirect is another retail store that lets you add glasses to your photo online. The company takes great pride in the fact that the entire manufacturing line is done in-house.

EyeBuyDirect’s ultimate goal is to make shopping for glasses as easy as possible. This is especially true if it’s from the comfort of your own home.

If we’re talking style, the company does its best to create glasses with a “sleek, modern look.”

Using EyeBuyDirect as a glasses or sunglasses photo editor online is very easy. After you pick the frames that you like, click the Try On button when you move your cursor over the glasses on-screen.

Once you click it, you can import a photo of yourself.

Make sure the picture has your head at a fairly level angle, and that you’re not looking away from the camera. This makes the glasses match as closely as possible to your face.

Once you upload your photo, make sure the “crosses” are properly positioned over your eyes to place the glasses. After that, try on the frames!

EyeBuyDirect Try Glasses Online

Additional Features

  • EyeBuyDirect will help you find a frame style that looks good on your face.
  • It has an amazing Buy 1 Give 1 program that donates glasses to people who can’t afford them.
  • EyeBuyDirect’s 365-Day Product Guarantee also allows customers to get a replacement pair of glasses within a 12 month period if there are “clear defects in material and workmanship.”

GlassesUSA Add Sunglasses to Photo

GlassesUSA is a massive website that offers thousands of spec styles, ranging from no-name sunglasses and daily eyewear to designer brands.

On the website, the company mentions that “7 out of 10 adults in the US need eye correction.” It’s also no secret that if you want to prevent your vision from deteriorating, you need to look for ways to reduce screen time and rest your eyes


7 Ways to Reduce Screen Time and Rest Your Eyes




7 Ways to Reduce Screen Time and Rest Your Eyes

Staying healthy includes caring for the eyes. Vision related health problems are a real lifestyle ailment and our digital habits are promoting. The cure lies in thoughtful use of the screen.
Read More

.

To meet this demand for failing vision, GlassesUSA has created a budget-friendly, easy-to-use service that can be quickly accessed online. It’s the perfect way to find a glasses photo editor if you ever need it.

Alongside its regular retail features, the company has a virtual booth to help you pick out the best frames for your face.

After you find the frames that you like, click the Try On button. Then upload a picture from your device. Follow the in-house instructions to adjust the frames.

GlassesUSA Add Glasses to Photo

While I was trying out this service, I loved how many different styles of glasses the website had to offer. It was also nice to see how closely the glasses mapped to my face.

The instructions for adding glasses to your picture were easy to follow. If you like the look of the frames—and you have your prescription on hand—you can buy the glasses then and there.

Additional Features

  • Like EyeBuyDirect, GlassesUSA has a generous return policy.
  • It also has free shipping and returns for all orders in the US and Canada.
  • One of the cool features about this website? You can create your own wish list of your favorite frames. All you have to do is create an account.

Seriously, this website is definitely worth the look.

Try Out Those Glasses Before You Buy Them

Trying on glasses was and continues to be stressful. However, things are getting easier. Technology also allows us to explore what glasses look best without breaking the bank.

That said, finding frames online is not the only area where you can customize your appearance. If you’re a shoe fanatic, here are the best websites to design and buy your own custom shoes


The Best Sites to Design Your Own Custom Shoes Online




The Best Sites to Design Your Own Custom Shoes Online

How can you design your own sneakers and then buy them? Here are the best places to design your own shoes online.
Read More

online.



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Will Apple introduce AR glasses this month?

Apple may or may not hold an October Apple event where it may or may not introduce its long-in-development AR glasses, Apple watchers say on strength of the latest claims from TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

First there’s the rumor…

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple will ship its long-awaited AR glasses during the second quarter of 2020, though his report does seem to cast a little shade over expectation of another Apple event this month.

That’s because he says we shouldn’t expect new iPad Pros until Q1 2020, when he also expects some form of replacement for the iPhone SE.

The iPads may feature the same 3D time-of-flight sensor introduced with the iPhone 11, according to Kuo.

There has been speculation Apple may introduce new Macs this year, in part because the company has promised to release the Mac Pro this fall; in part because of a previous claim (again from Kuo) that the company intends to launch a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Kuo’s latest note doesn’t mention that product specifically, but does present a timetable that suggests many of the new Macs (which will abandon Apple’s failed butterfly keyboard) won’t appear until next year.

Expectations in flux

New model AirPods, Apple TV+ and a potential Apple TV upgrade may not be enough to justify an October Apple event, said CNBC Technology Editor, Steve Kovach, thugh Joe Rossignol at MacRumors disagrees.

“If the Apple Headset ships in the second quarter of 2020, as Kuo says, there is a good chance it could be announced at an October event. Apple has a track record of months-early announcements for new product categories, including the original iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod…,” he wrote in a Tweet.

Setting the scene

It is worth noting Ming-Chi Kuo has speculated on a 2020 launch for Apple’s AR glasses in the past.

Writing in March 2019 he predicted these would require an iPhone to handle the content streaming, processing and rendering of content for the glasses, though it will connect wirelessly.

Apple has been working on AR glasses for years.

It now holds numerous foundational patents, technologies and services to support the business case for them:

  • Apple Arcade for games.
  • Appe TV+ for television/movies.
  • Apple Music for music.
  • Look Around in Maps – which relates well to a previous Apple patent.

These consumer-level implementations will be supported by third-party solutions, particularly around health, security and engineering.

The company has also built an ecosystem to support third-party AR development.

The company continues to search for strategic investments to help make ARKit more powerful and compelling.

Now in its third iteration, ARKit has been described as the “future of app creation across all Apple platforms,” by Apple’s senior VP Software Engineering, Craig Federighi.

Wait, the ‘future of Apple platforms’?

Think about user interfaces and Apple glasses.

The idea, at least at first, will be to market these devices as an iPhone accessory, like an Apple Watch (which has become more independent over time.)

Consumers will be interested in exploring the mixed reality usage cases opened up with the introduction of these new products, but enterprises must consider how these systems can be used in business.

In terms of what you can do with them, there are already clear implications in retail, design, architecture, agriculture, distribution, logistics, training and medical.

That’s quite a reach and suggests there may also be implications in your business.

But what these glasses also usher in is a change in how user interfaces work.

Apple’s Voice Control for iOS and Mac shows how Apple thinks on this. You can now control Pixelmator, Photos or Photoshop using only your voice on a Mac, iPad or iPhone.

Soon you’ll be able to do the same thing through the glasses that you wear.

(I consider it likely voice will be supplemented by movement, gesture and limited physical touch).

Innovative systems like Tap also show how we might interact with these things, while Apple’s Catalyst frameworks suggest it will be possible to use the same app on glasses as we do on an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

We don’t know if Apple will hold a special event this month.

I’d still see it as plausible, given the importance of Apple TV+ and the Mac Pro.

If it does, it might stress the importance of its voice first UI.

But even if it doesn’t, every business owner (in almost every industry) should consider how this user interface migration will impact their business and change their customer’s journeys.

I mean, look at the profound impact multitouch had on your industry. Or the GUI, come to that.

It’s that big.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Why is Apple developing code for AR glasses?

Code that suggests Apple is developing sophisticated support for Augmented Reality (AR) glasses has been found inside iOS 13, a report claims.

When development stops, production begins

Apple says it is “high” on AR. Company boss Tim Cook has talked about it as a “profound” technology. “I don’t think there is any sector or industry that will be untouched by AR,” he also said.

Now it looks like one of Apple’s much speculated upon plans for the technology may be entering prime time. MacRumors claims an “internal build” of iOS13 it has tested contains:

  • An app to switch into head mounted viewing mode.
  • A document that may relate to stereo audio feedback in a headset.
  • Code including “Starboard mode,” “views,” “scenes,” “ARStarBoardViewController,” and “ARStarBoardSceneManager”.
  • Code names including Starboard and Garta.

This follows the revelation that Apple has put a new Matrix co-processor inside the forthcoming A13 chip that will handle AR and other maths-heavy computational tasks.

This will also work in conjunction with the depth of view capability of the upcoming triple-lens iPhone cameras.

Innovation takes time

Apple has been developing AR glasses for years. But a Digitimes report in 2019 claimed it had “suspended the development of head-mounted display (HMD) AR/VR headsets, and already disbanded its team.”

No one really accepted this claim then and it makes even less sense now, given the claimed existence of code to support such devices inside iOS 13.

Indeed, it now looks as if hardware development has reached a point at which software development is taking precedence.

Apple is also working to develop usage cases for such products.

Think about the significance of its recently announced [AR]T Walk sessions in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Or recent claims its purported Tile competing Find My tag will show people their lost objects using AR.

These are all signals that suggest Apple is working hard to create the perfect triumvirate of hardware, software and need.

But I’m not expecting these things yet

Apple will host a special event on September 10 at which it is expected to refresh its iPhones and Apple Watch ranges, with a second event (probably around October) anticipated during which the company may share new iPads, Macs and services.

These two events seemingly leave little space for any other news, making it less likely the company will surprise us with any additional products.

Or does it?

After all, Apple’s September 10 invitation promises “By innovation only” and its [AR]T Walk seems to provide a good opportunity to evangelize such devices.

But the lack of applications for these devices will be the bugbear for any launch.

Apple has certainly created an ecosystem for AR development.

ARKit is evolving rapidly and is created in partnership with AR industry leading lights.

What isn’t clear is how easily those ARKit experiences will migrate into eyewear.

Nor do developers know what they need to know in order to build those experiences effectively – what are the limitations of use? What kind of imaging assets are required? What might the refresh rate of the eye displays be, and how do developers avoid motion sickness? What happens to users with poor vision?

We also don’t yet know what the concepts and usage cases for such a product might be, though gaming, navigation, medical, retail, training and collaborative experiences seem plausible.

Apple needs time to make this happen

The bottom line?

Apple is going to need time to introduce this new product family.

That’s not at all unusual.

Apple is really good at getting people interested in a new product, delaying its release and finding partners to help bring the solution to market. It proves this at every WWDC event it holds.

Why would this new product (and new paradigm) be different?

We don’t know if any of this is genuine, of course.

Everything here is based on rumor and speculation.

But if Apple does want to nurture iPhone and services sales and also introduce a brand new computing platform, then we can already guess at a six-point plan it might use to do so:

  • Get people speculating for a while.
  • Then talk about the new solution(s).
  • Give people limited chances to experience them.
  • Work with others to build showcase apps and development tools.
  • Release those tools in time for apps to be made available.
  • Ship

I’m not anticipating any news on September 10 (though it isn’t impossible), but I do think that whatever happens, people should pay attention to what Apple may or may not say around AR.

It may well also be of interest to take a look at what games it introduces in Apple Arcade.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.





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Apple’s AR glasses may be coming sooner than we think

There’s a claim Apple has canned development of AR glasses. This makes no sense to me – I think it means they are coming sooner than we thought.

Through an (augmented) glass darkly

“Apple has suspended the development of head-mounted display (HMD) AR/VR headsets, and already disbanded its team for the development of AR/VR HMDs,” Digitimes claims in a report almost nobody believes.

The publication also said development had been ceased temporarily, with people involved in the project diverted elsewhere.

The report also points out that the man who headed the project, Avi Bar-Zeev, has now left Apple, though most Apple watchers believe work on AR glasses has been ongoing since at least 2006, and possibly before.

What if he has left Apple because his work was done?

You see, what’s interesting is the focus on the word “development” in the Digitimes claim.

Has Apple really ceased development, or has it not reached a new stage in development called “production”?

If the latter, would it not make eminent sense to seed the product development team across the rest of the company in order to help bring Apple’s many different platforms and technologies in line with the new platform invention.

We don’t know the answer, of course.

A credible commitment

But we do know enough to think it highly unlikely Apple has ceased product development.

Think about Apple’s focus on AR.

The company has spent millions to create an ecosystem to support AR experiences.

There was not sign whatsoever of any fading commitment to the tech at WWDC 2019. AR was very much in the public eye with a huge area given over to live AR gaming. You could hear AR gamers whooping all across the front of the event. And Tim Cook always stresses the “profound” difference he thinks AR will make.

We know Apple is investing in the tech to drive these glasses.

Apple’s own developers file patent after patent after patent (and there are many more) that seem to directly relate to such devices. It recently won a patent that could be used in an AR glasses version of a Minority Report UI.

Technologies like Voice Control and Look Around in Maps also open up the possibility for voice first user interfaces, as I discussed recently.

Apple has the teams

Apple has many staff working on AR, including long-time executive, Frank Casanova, who I have always seen as one of the first Apple insiders to develop a vision for mobile that eventually led to iPhone.

Now he leads teams figuring out what problems AR needs to solve.

There is also no indication that Apple has pulled back on AR-related talent recruitment.

In April, Apple hired serial entrepreneur Arthur van Hoff, a founding executive of the Disney-backed VR startup Jaunt.

One month later in May, Joshua Fruhlinger wrote about a big rise in the number of AR-related jobs at Apple:

“The hiring upswing is a clear sign that the Cupertino tech giant is looking to make AR a major part of its mobile iOS devices moving forward. A word-cloud analysis of openings for AR since 2016 shows a clear move from R&D to market research, resale, and retail applications.”

And the secrets are already in the code

There’s even proof that Apple is developing AR glasses of some kind hidden in iOS 13’s code, as spotted by smart and sleuthy software sage, Steve Troughton-Smith.

He went so far as to Tweet that he thought the evidence he’s found suggests Apple’s AR glasses may be “coming even sooner than we thought”.

“What kind of evidence?,” he added.

“ARDisplayDevice.framework; ARDisplayDeviceRemoteExtensionContext, stereo AR in GameController framework. Does seems to back up the ‘iPhone accessory’ claims from Bloomberg a while back if AR apps are an Extension point like WatchKit was..”

The quality of debate

These days it only takes a few rumors to spark up the usual groaning, embittered chorus of Apple critics.

These tend to indulge themselves in muttering about the non-appearance of AirPower and vituperative nonsense about Tim Cook not being a ‘product guy’.

I always have this sense that those who most castigate Cook are men of a certain type cursed with a fragile sense of their own masculinity. Perhaps that’s true — it doesn’t matter.

But you can ignore both sets of criticism.

You can be certain that as night follows day, AR glasses will eventually appear and Apple will eventually deliver a solution for wireless charging.

We just don’t know when.

Or perhaps we do

Spookily accurate analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo shared his expectation that Apple may begin manufacturing AR glasses as soon as Q4 2019.

Add Voice Control in iOS 13 to that claim and add a little spice of Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, and you can begin to see a platform emerging.

Not to mention the vast implications for such technology in health.

I can’t help but remain highly skeptical at Digitimes claims.

Reading between the lines and pondering the available evidence – and considering the direction of travel for so many strands of the company’s vast empire now appears to combining, I’m minded to think we’re looking at a new and highly viable platform opportunity.

Which is what this is. 

I think it’s a future that is closer than we think.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.





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How to Pick Glasses that Work with Your Face – LifeSavvy

Woman trying on different eyeglass frames at the store
Kzenon/Shutterstock

Three-quarters of American adults need corrective lenses of some sort. For those who choose glasses, the frames become an integral part of their look. But how do you find the best frames to suit your face?

Different Frame Types for Different Faces

Many overly simple guides promise to sync up particular frame styles to specific face shapes. However, the reality is that many faces don’t fit one specific shape, but fall somewhere between extremes (such as “oval” or “square”). Picking the right glasses doesn’t mean following a formula, so much as it means understanding the effect that specific frames will have when you put them on.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common shapes and styles of glasses, and the ways they can complement (or distract from) your facial features. Use this as a reference point for your decisions — but don’t forget, the best frames are always the ones that make you feel great when you look in the mirror.

Thick Frames

Thick frames offer a statement-making look that remains popular even though thinner frames are trending at the moment.

While thick frames were once the daring, hip choice in glasses, they’ve now taken their place among classic looks. Still, the thicker the frame, the bolder your glasses become. This means that if you have small, delicate features, a pair of thick frames run the risk of overpowering your face and taking center stage.

But for some, that powerful effect might be just what you’re looking for. If you want your glasses to be the focal point of your face, consider a thicker frame. Otherwise, avoid thick frames unless you have bold features (like large eyes or stand-out cheekbones) to add balance.

Thin Frames

Thin wire frames have become a hot alternative to the bold frames that dominated trendy glasses for years. Wire frames lend themselves well to softer, rounded designs for a more neutral look.

These thin frames offer one of the most universally flattering looks in glasses since they don’t make a bold statement on your face. Delicate wire glasses let your features stand out more, which is ideal for those who don’t want their glasses to be the boldest part of their look or anyone with small features.

If you don’t love the idea of wire frames, you can also choose a thin plastic pair to get the same effect. Opt for clear plastic or a translucent, neutral shade for the subtlest look.

Round Frames

Most eyewear guides suggest that those with square or angular faces should wear glasses with round frames. In general, they’re right: contrasting your face shape with your frame shape can add balance to your overall appearance.

However, round frames can also look nice on people with round face shapes, if you want to highlight that aspect. A softer, rounded face is often associated with a more feminine look, so you might consider rounded glasses if you want to play up your feminine side.

How can you tell if your face is round? Features like full cheeks and a soft chin usually lend themselves to a rounded look. Round frames will draw more attention to the softness of your face.

Angular Frames

Square or angular faces, on the other hand, tend to offer more masculine energy. You can highlight this feature with a pair of angular frames. Meanwhile, if you have a round face, you can play down the roundness by offsetting it with square frames.

Again, there’s no rule for matching face shape and frame shape here. Instead, it’s all about deciding which facial features you’d like to draw the most attention to. Square frames will make an angular jawline more noticeable, for example, while round frames will soften it.

Large Frames

In addition to choosing the style of your frames, you’ll also need to consider the size.

Following the rules is a little more important when it comes to glasses size, rather than shape. If you choose frames that are much too large or too small for your face, they can look comedic or costumey.

To avoid that effect, check the position of the frames on your face. The edges of the frames shouldn’t extend past the edges of your face, or land very far inside your facial contours. Ideally, your eyes will sit right in the middle of the lenses horizontally, and in the upper third of the lenses vertically. Having correctly fitted glasses also allows you to see through them more easily.

Once you have the frames correctly fitted, the other size considerations are purely aesthetic. If you have small eyes, a large pair of glasses will make them look even smaller.

Small Frames

On the flip side, a small pair of frames can make large eyes look larger. Generally speaking, it’s a safe bet to match frame size to eye size. Wear smaller frames if your eyes are small, and vice versa.

Think of the frame of your glasses as a picture frame for your eyes. Just like when you’re framing a photo, you want the frame to hug the shape, but not cut it off at the edges.

Choosing the Best Glasses for You

Now that you know how certain glasses styles affect your look, you can pare down the countless options offered by your favorite eyeglasses retailers.

Although we haven’t covered every single specific frame style here, you can apply this information to any frames you look at—even sunglasses. For example, now you know glasses with sharp angles, like square and cat-eye frames, will play down round features and accentuate angled ones.

When you understand how different glasses will play with your facial features, you can confidently choose the pair you’ll love the most. If you adore your angular cheekbones, for example, you can highlight them with angular glasses. Instead of following a list of rules, this guide will help you choose frames that showcase your features in your favorite ways.





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Five reasons why smart glasses mean business

Someday augmented reality will become a mainstream feature of ordinary eyeglasses and sunglasses for everyday, general-purpose consumer use. But that day is many years in the future.

Reading the news, it’s easy to conclude that consumer smart glasses are on the brink of becoming available.

Apple is famously toiling away on future iGlasses, or whatever it will call them. A recently published “continuation patent” (which is a patent that the company wants the Patent Office to keep examining to change the scope of the original patent) describes what Apple calls “data glasses” capable of integrating virtual content with the real world, including for StreetView-style turn-by-turn directions and other location-based applications.

The patent office recently published several new smart glasses patents for Apple. One reveals new technology Apple is working on for holographic display of objects in glasses.

Facebook’s “Reality Labs” has been working on augmented reality glasses for a few years. A patent filed this week by Facebook describes a “cartilage conduction audio system for eyewear devices” that would project sound into the ear without blocking ambient sounds.

And Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was spotted this month visiting the headquarters of Luxottica, which is a global eyeglass giant known to be interested in partnering with smart glasses makers.

These projects by Apple and Facebook won’t ship as consumer products for many years. The technology simply isn’t ready.

In the meantime, smart glasses are growing in adoption and importance for all kinds of businesses uses, and for five reasons. Smart glasses are powerful for business but a non-starter for consumers because smart glasses …

1. Are socially unacceptable

When smart glasses look just like ordinary prescription glasses and sunglasses, without conspicuously thick frames or awkward protrusions, consumers will be happy to buy and wear them.

For the next several years, however, glasses with sensors, electronics and batteries that can power cameras and screens will look ugly, bulky and oversized.

Take the poster child for smart glasses, the now-venerable Google Glass.

Google introduced last week an updated version of its smartglass product, called Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2. This is the third version of Glass — the first of which was the experimental “Explorer” version introduced by invitation only six years ago, and the second was the first Enterprise edition of the product.

The new Glass has an updated design, a lot more power inside and a lower price: $999.

The new Glass has an 820mAh battery (up from 570mAh) to power the Android 8.0 Oreo running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processing platform (with a quad-core 1.7Ghz CPU). This processing power is necessary, according to Google, to power computer vision and advanced machine-learning capabilities. The headset has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

Google claims the new Glass can charge in 17 minutes.

The camera is upgraded to 8 megapixels, but the display is still 640 x 360.

Three beam-forming microphones isolate speech for voice commands.

A multitouch gesture touchpad on the right side of the headset provides touch controls.

A built-in accelerometer and gyroscope inform software of the angle and motion of the wearer’s head.

Safety glass lenses and new water and dust resistance make Glass suitable for factory or shop work. Alternatively, they can be fitted with prescription lenses.

Google Glass has limited capabilities out of the box. It’s intended to be purchased in large numbers and customized with purpose-built functionality by the company that buys them. Google says the price is $999, but the actual cost depends on quantity purchased, plus services chosen, such as software customization, customer support and training.

Dozens of companies exist to provide end-to-end Google Glass solutions for businesses.

Google Glass is suitable for doctors, factory workers, delivery people and others. But it’s not suitable for normal wear in polite company. Glass is, and will remain, a work tool that just doesn’t look right for everyday wear out and about in the world.

And the same goes for all other products introduced to date — they’re acceptable for professional use, but not consumer wear.

2. Solve business problems but not consumer problems

Google’s Explorer program was launched so that Google could become educated about how various kinds of people might use Google Glass. It turns out that almost all the usage involves simply taking pictures with the camera. Picture-taking is not something consumers really need help with.

But manufacturing and warehousing are a different story. Glass is currently deployed at scale (440 Google Glass units) by Deutsche Post DHL Group in its warehouses.

Boeing and Airbus use Glass and their own AR applications for manufacturing airplanes and warehouse work.

These and other companies need their employees to both reference massive amounts of information and communicate with one another, while keeping both hands free. So Glass and other smart glasses solve these real-world business and enterprise problems.

A company called North this week unveiled the ability to use its Focals smart glasses with Google Fit, which gives fitness data in the headset, a clear consumer application. (Most of the functionality for North’s glasses offer smartwatch-like notifications from a smartphone.)

But North also announced support for Google Slides in its North Focals smart glasses. You can use the integration by downloading a special “Focals Connect” Chrome extension, then loading Slides into the browser. Your speaker notes appear to you in the glasses’ screen, invisible to your audience. A control ring on the glasses enable you to move forward and backward through your presentation.

These glasses probably wouldn’t be ideal for normal business or sales presentation. They’re too bulky (and therefore distracting) and create a psychological distance between speaker and audience.

However, presentation notes in smart glasses is a great application for training, which enterprises do constantly.

It’s also true that integrating AI will greatly boost the utility of smart glasses for enterprises. An Israeli company called Plataine created a Google Glass app that uses image recognition AI and Google’s own Dialogflow to create a Glass-specific virtual assistant. The app can recognize objects and display instructions or other information based on what it recognizes.

The same goes for medicine. A teaching hospital at Harvard Medical School called Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is using Google Glass. Doctors get important information about patients in emergency situations, and claim that in more than one instance lives were saved when glass delivered information about drug allergies in time to prevent injection.

3. Often need tethering

Google Glass is too underpowered for some enterprise applications. So many new enterprise and business products have to be tethered to a computer that’s more powerful than puny ones that can be comfortably attached to the wearer’s head.

Earlier this month, Epson announced new smart glasses designed for business users called Moverio BT-30C, which are scheduled to ship next month. The glasses connect to either an Android smartphone or a Windows PC via USB-C. They remain tethered during use.

The glasses require an app, and the app’s display appears to float in midair. It can place up to three screens in space, and you move from one screen to the next by turning your head. Turn to the left and see a video; turn to the right and see your notes.

The functionality is potentially great. But no consumer is going to walk around with glasses that have to be tethered to a phone or laptop.

4. Don’t have all-day battery life

Screens and cameras and the electronics that power reasonably good smart glasses need batteries that are either too big or too weak. Smart glasses need to double as prescription glasses, and consumers won’t accept glasses that don’t last a full day.

Business applications, however, need to last only for a workday.

5. Are too expensive

Google Glass’s price came down a little, but it’s still more expensive than an average smartphone. When enterprises such as Boeing buy them by the hundreds and use them for complex manufacturing, the cost is justified. But the gadget-happy public won’t pay more than $300 or $400 for what is essentially a wearable smartphone accessory.

Google Glass is often lumped into the same category as Microsoft’s Hololens or Magic Leap’s One glasses. In fact, these products exist in an entirely different space. Their displays are far higher in resolution and enable visual objects to appear to interact with physical objects (for example, showing animations that appear to be resting on a physical table).

With Glass, a small rectangular display hovers in space without any connection to the physical world, and the placement of that display depends entirely on the orientation and position of the wearer’s head.

So while Google Glass and other devices in the same class will be going online at scale in enterprises over the next three years or so, the Hololens or Magic Leap class devices are more than five years out for significant penetration into enterprises. And more than 10 years way for consumers.

So while the technology press generally believes that consumer smart glasses are a year or two away from general consumer adoption, the reality is that this timeline applies only to enterprise applications. The consumer toys everyone wants are five to ten years into the future.



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