A 20/20 look at smart glasses

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Spectacles by Snapchat

Google Glass flopped after it launched in 2013, but that hasn’t stopped companies from developing their own version of smart glasses.

Snapchat Spectacles ($130), which hit the market in November 2016, generated a lot of buzz for their capability to let wearers take and post pictures via the company’s Snapchat mobile app. Oakley’s Radar Pace smart glasses ($449) track a person’s performance, such as speed, cadence, distance and time, and can provide live feedback in several languages.

Jake Bennett, who is the chief technology officer of POP, which is a marketing and consulting company for the tech industry, says more companies will introduce smart glasses in 2017, including Google’s next shot at its Glass and Apple’s late–to–the–game entry.

The real treat will come, Bennett says, when those companies integrate augmented reality (think: Pokemon GO) with virtual reality (think: Samsung Gear and Google Daydream) into a mixed reality. This will blend the augmented reality images that overlay your physical environment with the virtual spaces that are created in virtual reality, which he says will result in a visual world that’s simultaneously natural and virtual.