What are Smart Glasses?
Smart glasses, also called connected glasses, are embedded with internal and external sensors. These sensors add special functionality similar to what you find on a smartphone.
Depending on the brand, you can purchase smart glasses with and without prescription lenses.
Smart glasses use wireless and Bluetooth technology to provide an enhanced user experience that includes:
- Listening to music
- Camera and video functionality
- Making phone calls
- Connection to the internet and smartphone
- Augmented reality (virtual objects overlaid in real-world environments)
Nowadays, connected glasses are becoming more mainstream. Experts estimate that 14 million people will use smart glasses in the workforce by 2025.3
Everything We Recommend
- Best Overall: Ray-Ban Stories: Wayfarer Smart Glasses
- Best For Music: Bose Frames – Audio Sunglasses
- Best For Augmented Reality: Vuzix Blade Upgraded Smart Glasses
- Best For Video: Spectacles 3 – by Snapchat
4 Best Smart Glasses of 2024
Based on our research, the four best smart glasses of 2024 include:
1. Best Overall: Ray-Ban Stories: Wayfarer Smart Glasses with Photo, Video & Audio
Ray-Ban Stories are developed by Meta with the classic Ray-Ban style. They have access to Meta technology, including social media.
It offers a new way to communicate with your social community. Frames come in a variety of colors and designs.
- Audio, photo, and video capability
- Voice control
- Ability to take phone calls
- Polarized lenses
- Can charge on the go
- Share your Facebook stories
- No augmented reality display
- Need a Facebook account
Price: $299 on Amazon
2. Best For Music: Bose Frames – Audio Sunglasses
Bose Frames are sunglasses with built-in directional speakers that connect to Bluetooth. The sound control allows you to enjoy high-quality music without disturbing the people around you. They also come in several different styles and designs.
- Integrated microphone
- Bluetooth compatible
- Ability to purchase with a prescription
- Good sound quality
- No volume control
- Difficult to hear in loud environments
Price: $99 on Amazon
3. Best For Augmented Reality: Vuzix Blade Upgraded Smart Glasses for Enterprise Applications
The Vuzix Blade Upgraded smart glasses connect the digital world to the real world using augmented and mixed reality. It’s popular in work environments and has advanced features like stereo speakers, color display, and data collection capabilities.
- Advanced AR technology
- High-quality camera
- It can be customized with prescription lenses
- No variety in styles
Price: $1,299 on the company website. It’s currently unavailable on Amazon
4. Best For Video: Spectacles 3 — 3D Camera Glasses, Made by Snapchat
Spectacles 3, made by Snapchat, is designed for taking high-tech videos and photos. These smart glasses come equipped with 3D effects and two HD cameras. Multiple microphones make these smart glasses perfect for creating high-quality social media content.
- 3D video and photo
- Can charge on the go
- Can instantly upload images to the internet
- Only one design
- Limited features
Price: $349 on Amazon
How Do Smart Glasses Work?
Smart glasses utilize sensors, processors, and internet connectivity to bring smartphone technology to a pair of eyeglasses. Although each model works differently, smart glasses allow you to interact with them through a touch interface, voice commands, or head gestures.
Other smart glasses features include:
- Voice command to text
- Report generation
- Virtual reality (VR) or mixed reality (MR)
- Location identification
- Voice controls
- Increased battery life
- Eye tracking
Types of Smart Glasses
Smart glasses come in different shapes and sizes depending on the design and desired functionality. The different types of smart glasses include:
Monocular Smart Glasses
Monocular smart glasses contain an optical engine or device on one of the lenses. This allows your line of sight to be undisturbed by the visual interface.
Examples of smart monocular glasses include:
- Google Glass (one of the first smart glasses developed for the general population)
- Vuzix M300
- Lumus Sleek
- Optivent Ora-2
Binocular Smart Glasses
Binocular smart glasses have an optical engine on both lenses. This provides stereoscopic (three-dimensional effects) vision. Binocular vision also augments a more significant part of the field of vision.
Most binocular smart glasses need to be connected to a smartphone.
Examples of smart binocular glasses include:
- Epson Moverio
- ODG R-9
- Sony SED-E1
Audio Augmented Reality Glasses
Audio augmented reality glasses use motion sensors and GPS information to determine spatial orientation. They also have speakers that enable users to take phone calls and listen to music. Bose Open Ear Audio technology is the most famous example of audio-augmented reality smart glasses.
How Much Do Smart Glasses Cost?
Smart glasses vary in price depending on brand and features. Smart glasses designed for industry and the workforce are more expensive than those designed for the general population.
Smart glasses typically range from $99 to $1,300 and are widely available online. Additionally, some manufacturers can add a prescription to correct vision refractive errors.
Are Smart Glasses Worth It?
Although smart glasses and wearable devices have unique and interesting features, you might wonder if they’re worth it. Here are some of the pros and cons of smart glasses:
|Ability to see phone apps from a binocular viewing angle
|Prone to breaking
|Hands-free phone usage
|Not all smart glasses come with a prescription
|Watch movies and consume online content
|Requires a smartphone connection
|Listen to music and audio
|Requires wireless connectivity
|Perform daily tasks while on the go
|They can be expensive
|Take high-quality pictures and videos
|Privacy and other social concerns
What Do Experts Think?
We spoke to a couple of experts to get their insights on smart glasses; here’s what they think. Abhi Madan, a creative director at Amarra, mentioned that smart glasses provide a unique style, experience, and functionality.
However, whether they are worth it largely depends on how much you value the convenience and novelty of the tech. Similarly, Daivat Dholakia, the VP of Operations at Essenvia, thinks that smart glasses don’t offer features your smartphone doesn’t already have, which can make you wonder why you’d need a pair.
Regardless, both acknowledged that there are some privacy concerns regarding smart glasses. This is because smart glasses can discreetly film people in public or non-public spaces.
Why Trust Our Review?
We considered many factors when deciding which smart glasses fit best for each category.
Our decision criteria included the following:
- Research. Each product and brand came highly recommended by leading experts.
- Price and availability. Each product is affordable and easy to purchase online.
- Advanced features. Each product contained advanced features that proved safe and effective for daily use.
Smart glasses are wearable devices that provide basic smartphone tasks through eyewear. Typical functionality includes camera, video, augmented reality, and audio capabilities.
They connect to your phone via wireless and Bluetooth, offering a hands-free experience. There are also various options available on the market that provide different features and user experiences.
Although they offer unique features, some people may wonder if they’re worth it, given that they don’t offer any features that a phone doesn’t already have. Additionally, there are some privacy concerns regarding its ability to record people discreetly.
In this article
Best Places to Buy Glasses
Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.
Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.
Best on a Budget
EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.
Best Places to Buy Contacts
1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.
GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.