The best smartglasses 2016: Sony, Vuzix and more

Google Glass may be dead in the water but there are other smartglasses...
The best smartglasses

Google Glass was the poster boy of the smartglasses industry, but the Big G decided to call time on its augmented reality specs for the masses... for now at least.

But that doesn't mean that the AR headset revolution has come to a halt - after all, smartglasses are set to trump smartphones in terms of users within 10 years. claims that shipments of smartglasses will hit 1 billion around 2020, surpassing shipments of mobile phones by 2025.

Essential reading: What's in store for Google Glass 2.0?

And there are plenty of options coming to market with an array of features. From first-person videos and photos as moments unfold, to turn-by-turn directions, and facial recognition of the people you meet, the invasion of the smartglasses is coming and the first examples are already landing.

We don our future-specs to reveal the best smartglasses on the market and the ones we believe have the potential to take connected specs...


Putting the fitness tracking onto your face, these smart specs are the work of the University of Southern California's Center for Body Computing and VSP Global. The latter was previously involved in creating frames for Google Glass.

Level are worn like a normal pair of glasses but has a series of sensors embedded into the frame including a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer. The tech is used to monitor steps, distance, calories burned and active time. This data is all logged inside a smartphone app and when you reach a certain points goal, it can earn the reward of a free eye exam or glasses for someone in need.

An early prototype was launched last year, but now it's being prepped for an academic study and a consumer pilot research in December with results to be revealed in 2017. Here's hoping it breaks out of the research lab in the not too distant future.



Following in the footsteps of Recon's Jet setup, Solos aims to become a cyclist's best friend.

These smartglasses pack in a small heads up display enabling cyclists to glance at a host of useful data in real time including speed, cadence, heart rate. and power zones.

It'll work with existing running apps like Strava and MapMyRide, offer navigation and is compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+ devices if you want to pair it with other cycling tracking kit.

Solos has already been worn and used by the US Cycling team, so it also comes with an elite athlete seal of approval.


Vuzix M300

Building on the M100 specs launched back in 2013, Vuzix's M300 smart glasses are built for enterprise and this time come with a more comfortable, rugged design.

With an Intel Atom processor powering performance, it'll run on the latest version of Android with 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage and Wi-Fi connectivity among the more notable specs.

There's also a 13-megapixel camera to take pics, head tracking support and dual cancelling microphones.

If you want these to play with at work, Vuzix is currently offering a migration pre-order package, sending you the M100 glasses now and then M300 glasses when they launch.


Epson Moverio BT-300

The BT-300 smartglasses ditch the clunky look of its predecessors returning with a sleeker, more polished pair of AR smartglasses. The BT-300 is lighter than its predecessor and is not quite as geeky-looking either.

It uses a significantly sharper 720p HD resolution OLED display, and now packs a 5-megapixel front facing camera. It's also powered by an Intel Atom quad core processor with Android Lollipop covering the software bases.

While Epson's smart glasses have always been quite business-focused, it has teased the prospect of using them in the gym to race in virtual environments and is working with drone makers DJi so you can control flights straight from your specs. We still don't know pricing yet, but considering the BT-200 specs cost almost $700, it's not going to be cheap.


Sony SmartEyeGlass

Sony released the essential tools to allow developers to start coding applications for its Google Glass rival, and now devs can finally get hold of the SmartEyeGlass hardware.

SmartEyeGlass includes an array of features, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and built in camera. However, the monochrome screen is likely to put off consumers, if Sony chooses to release it beyond the business world.


Sony SmartEyeGlass Attach

But you don't actually need to stick a full Sony headset on your bonce; the Attach accessory was unveiled back in 2015 and the company recently used the smart accessory for its AR talks at SXSW 2016.

Sony SmartEyeGlass Attach features a 0.23-inch OLED single lens microdisplay, with a 640 x 400 resolution and a control board which contains an ARM processor, sensor hub, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity. The display module is just 40g, and there's a 400mAh battery to power the whole thing.

Sadly, it's still just a concept at this point and there's no indication from Sony as to how much it might cost.


Jins Meme

Google Glass alternatives

Tokyo based Jins demoed its Meme smartglasses over in 2015 and while they haven't gone on sale yet, we do have a better idea of how much it will cost and what they can actually do. This smart eyewear has more in common with the likes of Jawbone and Lumo than some of its rivals in this roundup though.

The Jins Meme specs don't provide an AR experience for their wearers; they use bio-sensing tech to detect changes in a wearer's eye and body movements to track and alert on safety, health and fitness. They can track tiredness and alert drivers who may be about to nod off.

EOG electrodes built into the frames and in the nose pads can detect blinks and eye movement in eight directions, and the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors along the earpiece monitor body axis and walking pattern to improve posture.

There's still no details on US or UK pricing, but we do know that if you're in Japan, the ES model will cost 39,000JPY (roughly $350) and 19,000JPY (around $170) for the MT model.


ODG R-7 Smart Glasses

ODG's self-contained, Android KitKat-running, smart glasses are designed for Government and enterprise, and pack a 3D stereoscopic see-through HD display and stereo sound.

Read this: ODG ported Pokémon GO to its AR smartglasses

These Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 powered specs have now started shipping and cost a grand total of $2,750. It also includes Wi-Fi, GPS and a host of sensors including a gyroscope, humidity sensor and altitude sensor.

The lenses are swappable as well and the built-in autofocus camera also lets you record 1080p full HD video.


Recon Jet

Designed for cyclists, these sporty looking specs wouldn't look out of place on the Tour De France, and are designed to deliver the kind of data Team Sky riders would kill for. Combining a 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, HD camera, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, altimeter, thermometer and GPS receiver, the Jet delivers detailed ride statistics directly to your eyes.

Connect Jet to up to eight ANT+ or Bluetooth peripherals (such as heart rate monitors, power meters and cadence sensors) and you'll get a full report on how your body's doing, too. The removable battery is a big plus for long rides, and the option of prescription inserts means they should be good fit for all.

$499, | Amazon


  • Chuck says:

    You left out Vuzix. Their M100 is available from Amazon. With the recent investment by Intel, their new wave guide glasses should be out "real soon now".

  • SmallPlanetMatt says:

    In addition to Vuzix, there are the Epson Moverio BT-200 glasses. Now in 2nd generation and with a growing developer ecosystem (especially for enterprise applications). Disclosure: I work with one member of the developer ecosystem,

  • chels says:


  • don says:

    is there a glass that you could us s a teleprompter

  • ARTechie says:

    Of all the glasses you mentioned, none have been implemented in the field (and saving users hundreds of thousands of dollars) like the Vuzix M100,currently being upgraded to the M300. A simple web search would have revealed the M100's dominance in the field. Who is feeding you your information? Are you even aware that Vuzix won 8 awards at this years CES?

  • wenwen88516 says:

    The product is awesome! we designed a new smart glasses at

  • yogibimbi says:

    Garmin Varia Vision?

  • PatrickJ says:

    looking forward to the day we don't have to lug around smart phones.  

  • VedranVukman says:

    Hopefully Vyoocam ( can make some noise in this market. Ok, this are all smart devices with a display but I think POV live camera is the biggest asset of products like this. 

  • Vincent says:

    The winner will be the manufacturers that incorporate OLED displays rather than LED.

  • eoncto says:

    One other interesting solution are PENNY,

  • trollbob2000 says:

    What a pointless steaming hole to throw money into.  All trending and looking wannabee for about a week..... then FLUSH...

  • fks says:

  • andy942 says:

    sounds cool, but recently I got an mail from china company, they are selling another cool smart sport camera glasses, good looking appearance. if you are interesting, you can go to the website:, ;

  • udaygulati says:

    Does anyone know which would be the best pair of glasses for video chatting with someone? ie showing someone what you are seeing while chatting with them. Probably one of the most useful use cases on Glass.

  • Soulfiremage says:

    When is someone going to give us decent glasses for simple things like reading, discreet browsing and straight forward work? And not just years of endless developer kit only pre release stuff?

  • jlev says:

    Someone please develop an app for use in these glasses that allows a singer to read lyrics. I write long songs but can't remember all the words. It would be incredibly useful to use as a teleprompter. 

  • jlev says:

    I need glasses that allow me to read lyrics like a teleprompter. Someone please make this reality. 

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