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Hang Up Your Smartphone and Put On Smart Glasses

1 min read · 498 views Bong-Geun Choi Oct 11, 2022

Technology industry leaders are increasingly predicting that smart glasses will replace smartphones.  Alex Kipman, the inventor of the Microsoft Hololens, a mixed reality headset, went so far as to say that “smartphones are dead, but people don’t know it yet.”[1]  Will smart glasses replace smartphones?  What attractive features do they possess relative to the smartphone?


Integrating Augmented Reality

Smart glasses utilize augmented reality (AR) technology to overlay the physical world with digital information.  AR supplements or enhances our experiences with the real world through additional information that may not be readily available.


Some examples may include:

  • Mapping apps that can provide the user with real-time directions and navigation
  • Facial recognition to help you remember the person’s name to whom you are talking and providing additional information about them
  • Restaurant recommendations, reviews, and menus by just looking at a storefront or a streetscape
  • Translation of road signs from foreign languages
  • Viewing a store’s inventory from the outside
  • And, of course, making phone calls


Why Smart Glasses?

AR technology does not require a complete disassociation from the outside world like virtual reality (VR) technology does.  Therefore, it may serve as a natural bridge between the physical and digital worlds.


In the United States alone, almost 200 million people wear glasses for corrected vision, while global usage is estimated at over two billion.[2]  At the same time, most of us probe the world around us through our smartphones or tablets. Smart glasses combine these two items, giving more convenience and one less item to carry around.


Big Tech’s Interest in Smart Glasses

Many large global technology companies are racing to deploy AR technology and deliver smart glasses to the marketplace.  For example:

  • Apple is rumored to be delivering an AR headset, or smart glasses, to the market sometime in 2024[2]
  • Meta is also expected to deliver its own version of AR glasses to the marketplace in 2024, potentially months before Apple[2]
  • Snap’s glasses, currently in the marketplace, let users snap pictures and videos and add AR effects to those clips inside the Snapchat app[1] 
  • Microsoft’s Hololens, a mixed-reality headset, is already available, although it may be too large and wieldy for all-day, everyday use[2]


Estimates of Growth

The market for AR and VR headsets is expected to grow tenfold from 2021 through 2028. [2] Such estimates suggest an attractive investment opportunity. 


[1] Fernandez, Ray, Will Smart Glasses Replace Smartphones?, TechRepublic, 7/28/22

[2] Mehta, Tushar, How AR Glasses Are Going From Niche Gadget to Smartphone Replacement, Digital Trends, 6/30/22


Bong-Geun Choi

Chief Economist


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Risk Disclosure:


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