Smart Glasses Adoption has Finally Arrived in 2021

Smart glasses technology has long captured sci-fi appeal.

In theory, these glasses would connect us and our surroundings effortlessly to the digital world, overlaying 3D route guidance on the sidewalk in front of us, translating labels in a Chinese supermarket, and making Pokémon Go a lot more intense. The potential of this experiential market has led to continued endeavors by the world’s biggest tech giants, despite a series of attempts falling short of the mark.

However, during the pandemic, smart glasses got a significant boost. Unlike in previous years where these glasses were seen as a “nice to have” technology gadget, people have now come to appreciate this wearable technology as a valuable tool that frees up hands and helps employees get their jobs done more effectively. In a world increasingly heading toward remote or flexible work, the power of smart glasses is also being explored for its ability to make video-conferencing more immersive and dynamic. For example, Advanced AR could enable the projection of colleagues in front of the wearer, virtually replicating the office environment inside your home.

In addition to remote work benefits, AR provides a new functionality for the service industry. Let’s say your TV goes out just moments before the big game is on. Panic sets in as you realize you haven’t got the first clue in fixing your beloved television and you don’t have time to schedule a professional service technician to drive to your house. Rest easy faithful sports fan because AR allows for experts to provide their services remotely. In other words, your service technician is able to assist your TV remotely through the use of smart glasses, or more common smartphones and 3D object tracking. While using smart glasses, the technician will be able to see exactly what you see and tell you precisely what to do to solve the issue. In addition to better and faster customer service, this advanced technology lowers travel and time costs for the supplier. 

Just as technicians can help customers, they can also use smart glasses to train and supervise employees in their service company. Students can learn from their instructors by seeing what they see and learning how to resolve issues that may be presented on the job. 

So how exactly does this all work? Smart glasses is a technology that superimposes data onto a field of view. This view is achieved through an optical light display embedded in wireless glasses or an AR overlay. AR glasses augment the reality perceived by the wearer of the glasses. We’re now seeing a variety of smart glasses styles on the market – and while all AR systems are hands-free, they can look like classic eyewear, or binocular-like goggles, and some even with safety helmets attached. 

The trends in smart glass technology has evolved to a point where the industry offers a variety of manufacturing styles, use cases and features. For example, some glasses have built in microphones while others have external headsets. Some are binocular displays and others are monocular displays. And while most smart glasses provide an optical see-through real world perspective, others use external cameras to display video in the glasses. 

Smart glasses manufacturers have designed the glasses to be totally hands-free and can be controlled through non-optical control components, while other smart glass options are connected to a controller or separate device such as a smartphone. Manufacturers build and run their smart glass products on a variety of platform options such as Google’s operating system Android, Windows and Linux.

So whether it’s in field service or remote office environments, AR provides new, unparalleled connectivity that can lead to faster, more effective problem resolution. We’ll increasingly see situations where service technicians onsite can tap the specialized expertise of colleagues who may be in another location who can leverage AR enabled smart glasses to help out. 

Smart glasses are now here to stay and we’ll continue to see a faster adoption rate throughout 2021 and beyond in both consumer and enterprise settings.

About the Author

Gautam Goswami is TeamViewer‘s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) since March 2019. Gautam has over 20 years of experience in technology and marketing with notable roles at enterprise software and cloud services providers OpenText and Informatica. He is a seasoned tech executive and brings with him a combination of B2B and B2C marketing excellence. Gautam leads TeamViewer’s marketing and product strategy and global marketing operations.

Featured image: ©Sydna Productions