Vue Smart Glasses Have No Display

While we are all used to new Kickstarter campaigns for smart glasses, and, as such, the Vue – “Your Everyday Smart Glasses” should not come as a big surprise. And yet it definitely is. We here at Meko are all about displays and the Vue doesn’t have any display included in the design. The only light emitting device on this device is a multicolor LED to show that it is working. Instead, it is basically a set of wireless headphones with some sensors thrown in.

So why do we even bother? Well, there is the phenomenal success of this Kickstarter campaign that attracted in just 24 days over 7,000 supporters and the fact that this it actually just looks like a pair of ordinary glasses with no bulky frame to hide the optical components.

Source: Vue Glasses

The device was developed by a group of college graduates that formed a start-up company in San Francisco, CA and has developed other products already. There is very little info about the company itself, even the website is basically a one page teaser. While other smart glasses are typically developed for people with perfect vision, the Vue is developed for people who already have to wear glasses anyway. There are two different frame styes available that include all the electronic components as well as flat, sunglasses or prescription lenses.

As shown in the picture, the device acts as wireless headphones with bone conducting speakers, a microphone, gesture input controller and activity sensors. All this connects to the user’s smartphone via bluetooth, allowing for a standby time of 7 days on a single charge. Wireless charging is achieved inside the provided case, which in turn has to be connected via USB to a power source.

Vue Glasses DesignSource: Vue Glasses

All in all, there is not much material packed into these glasses, allowing for frames that rival any normal pair of glasses today. The glasses do not come cheap, but compared to designer frames they are actually reasonable and come with additional functionality. Expected retail prices start at $269 and go well into the mid $300 range depending on the lens options. The lowest Kickstarter prices started at $159 (already sold out), while other options are still available. As mentioned above, the funding target of $50,000 has already been far exceeded with a total of almost $1.5 million after 24 days. The devices are in the development phase and the firm plans to ship the pre-ordered glasses by July 2017, even though their Kickstarter campaign is already two months behind their original schedule.

Analyst Comment

While I only wear sunglasses and reading glasses, I have to say that this is a very intriguing concept. “Invisible” headphones that allow you to accept a phone call without taking out the phone is already ingenious. Looking at the funding success one could draw the conclusion that some of the consumer’s hesitance with AR glasses is their awkward appearance. Make them look like real glasses and people may actually go for it. This means that the optics needs a lot more development than the developers have believed to be necessary. (NH)