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Why 'invisible smart glasses' are the perfect wearable

Mike Elgan What if smart glasses looked like regular, everyday glasses?

Google Glass was derided in the press as a dorky, clunky, privacy-invading error. (In truth, it was a bold experiment that launched the smart glasses revolution.)

Google Glass proved that conspicuous wearables don't belong on your face. The camera made people nervous. The screen caused a malady I called "Glass eye" (pain from having one eye exposed to bright light in a dark room). Looking at the Google Glass screen created awkward social situations when users looked up and to the right to see the screen. Battery life was terrible.

All these problems were caused by the visual elements of Google Glass -- the camera and screen prism. But what if someone came out with smart glasses without optics?

Good news: smart glasses with no camera or screen are coming on the market. The great thing about these glasses isn't the lack of cameras and screens. It's that they can pass as totally normal, everyday prescription glasses or sunglasses (or both).

I call this category "invisible smart glasses," because the wearable computing elements are invisible.

This ability to pass as normal glasses is, to me, the ultimate feature. Most people won't accept conspicuous electronics on their faces.

I believe that invisible smart glasses will soon surpass smart watches and all other wearables. Eventually, they'll surpass even dumb glasses.

Here's why all glasses should be invisible smart glasses.



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