“I do believe that wearables are here to stay, and it is only a matter of time before they are integrated into contact lenses,” says Uma.


The other night, I was gazing at the moon when I suddenly picked up my phone and started zooming in and taking pictures. My first thought was, “How cool would it be if our eyes could take pictures of what we see, exactly the way we see it?”

In 2013, I participated in a hackathon with the newly launched Google Glass. Our case study was a heating specialist fixing an electric heater. The technician would wear the Glass and scan the code on the heater to receive immediate information on possible fixes and the process for each fix. The technology at the time was in its infancy, and it did not immediately take off. Google Glass was a revolutionary product that had the potential to change the way we interact with the world.

Image Credit: Matt Brown on Flickr

However, it was also a very controversial product, and it ultimately failed to live up to its hype – to an extent that anyone who wore Google Glass were called ‘Glass-holes‘. Ten years later, Meta has now partnered with Ray-Ban to take pre-orders for Glass. So this article from Matt does resonate, ‘ Who’s laughing now?’

Google and its wearables were slightly chunkier, however, Ray Ban and Meta collaboration is a lot slicker and also comes with a wide variety including options of progressive lenses!

Image Credit: Ray-Ban

Innovation summarised

No touch access to information and apps. You can access information, send messages, and make calls hands-free.

Look at Zuckerberg demonstrating learning to braid handsfree!

Augmented reality experiences. You can overlay information and images on the world around you, which can be helpful for things like navigation or shopping. Think about having the street view rather than moving the phone to get navigation while walking. Sounds definitely useful to me.

Camera and video recording. You can take photos and videos without using your hands, which can be useful for recording memories or documenting your day.

Image Credit: Ray-Ban

Meta Glass has a 5MP camera with autofocus and face detection. It is touted to be able to record 1080p video at 30 frames per second. The camera is located on the right side of the glasses, and it can be used to take photos and videos hands-free. The camera also has a built-in microphone as well, which can be used to make calls or record audio.

For the unversed, here are some of the camera features of Meta Glass:

  • Hands-free photo and video recording.
  • 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second.
  • Autofocus and face detection.
  • Built-in microphone.
  • 5MP camera.

Personalised experiences. Meta Glass can be customised to show you the information and apps that are most relevant to you.

Image Credit: Ray-Ban

It is not fully worry-free as it is hands-free

The above is however plagued with a lot of concerns. For example, if you are using a hands-free device while driving, you may be more likely to get into an accident. Additionally, hands-free devices can be a distraction, and you may not be as productive when you are using them.

As I write this, I can already foresee the scepticism about how the data will be stored and used. There are some massive concerns which need to be addressed.

While the cost may be prohibitive it is definitely the most sought out device waiting on pre-orders! Overall, Meta Glass is a promising new technology with a number of potential benefits. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before purchasing one.

Image Credit: Engineering at Meta

Privacy concerns

Some people are concerned about the privacy implications of having a device that can record video and audio without their knowledge. Especially children. When people wear the glass, it isn’t immediately apparent on the use of the device.

Safety concerns

There are also some safety concerns, such as the potential for Meta Glass to be used to distract drivers or to invade people’s privacy.

Training of AI

It is viewed that the company’s goal with smart glasses is to feed its AI models information. “If you think about it, smart glasses are the ideal form factor for you to let an AI assistant see what you’re seeing and hear what you’re hearing,” Zuckerberg said when he announced the Meta Smart Glasses. It isn’t any different from Amazon’s Alexa, Siri which do clue in based on conversations and applications installed. Only it travels with you visually.

Conclusion:

I am not certain if I will be on the first list of pre-orders, as I am still sceptical about the use of wearables. I would like to see how they develop before I commit to purchasing one. However, I do believe that wearables are here to stay, and it is only a matter of time before they are integrated into contact lenses. It is to be hoped that this will be of interest to those with good judgement. However, I am sure that it will go the way of Google Glass and become mired in privacy issues if it is not handled with care.

In case you missed:

Uma currently works as a delivery lead in a leading bank managing anti-money laundering projects. She started her career setting up and managing data centers and disaster recovery centers moving on to setting up niche healthcare business analysis teams. She would like to share her experiences and best practices across industries in view of a common user. The comments reflect the author's views and not the bank or Sify's.

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