What are the best AR smartglasses?

Augmented reality is primarily experienced via a wearable glass device, head-mounted device, or smartphone applications. Augmented reality overlays digital content on top of the real world. Therefore, AR enhances the user’s experience in the real world rather than replacing it.

Not to be confused with virtual reality or mixed reality, even though they all fall under the extended reality spectrum, augmented reality is believed to have the biggest potential for mass consumption.

AR has the backing of investment of huge tech giants, who are investing not only in the hardware but also working with developers to create user-friendly toolkits and SDKs (software development kits). Furthermore, AR can be delivered on hardware that we already own and use: smartphones.

Here’s our selection of some of the best AR glasses available on the market.

The best AR smartglasses

ProductBrandRelease dateCountryFov horizontalPrice
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
MOVERIO BT-300Epson 2016Japan23$ 699Buy on Amazon France
RaptorEverysight 2018Israel$ 649Contact the manufacturer
Glass Enterprise EditionGoogle 2017United States$ 1,800Contact the manufacturer
SOLOSKopin 2016United States10$ 499Contact the manufacturer
dynaEdge AR100 ViewerToshiba 2018Japan$ 1,899Contact the manufacturer
Blade Smart GlassesVuzix 2018United States$ 999Contact the manufacturer
X2ThirdEye Gen 2019United States42$ 2,999Ask for a quote
M300Vuzix 2016United States20$ 999Contact the manufacturer

Overview of the best AR headsets

AR devices are available in three broad categories:

  • AR glasses (smartglasses)
  • Smartphone augmented reality (mobile AR)
  • Tethered AR headsets

Some VR headsets such as the VIVE Pro also have AR capabilities but didn’t include those on this list.

AR glasses dominate our selection of the best AR devices available and are the most common type of AR device you can find. When it comes to actual headsets, they’re mostly aimed at business and enterprise-level users.

http://Epson%20Moverio%20BT-300
Selection
By Epson
CountryJapan
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 699

The Epson MOVERIO BT-300, also known as the MOVERIO BT-300 FPV, are quality augmented reality smart glasses, with impressive specs and an affordable price point. Their HD display and high-resolution (5 MP) camera receive positive user feedback.

Epson’s Moverio Apps Market also provides the user with a variety of content and applications.

Pros:

  • Sharp 720p HD resolution OLED display
  • Drone edition allows the use of the AR glasses to control, for example, a DJI drone
  • Long battery life
  • Dedicated controller

Cons:

  • Limited to 32GB microSD card
  • Small FOV of 23°
http://Everysight%20Raptor
Selection
CountryIsrael
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 649

AR smart glasses designs for cycling have become very popular, and the Everysight Raptor is a highly regarded AR device.

In addition, these smartglasses offer a range of great features such as long battery life, high-quality front camera, and a host of connectivity options such as GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and ANT+. The additional options like the Everysight controller round out a great AR smartglass.

Pros:

  • Battery life can last for up to 8 hours
  • 13.2 MP front camera enables users to capture HD videos and photos
  • Provided with intuitive touchpad and an optional controller is available
  • Users may switch between different visor tints depending on the weather

Cons:

  • Combined with additional accessories, these AR glasses can be pricey
http://Google%20Glass%20Enterprise%20Edition
Selection
By Google
CountryUnited States
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 1,800

Google Glass Enterprise Edition, also known as the Google “EE”, are the updated AR smartglasses of the Google Glass and Google Glass Explorer. With a number of upgrades– assisted GPS, faster and more reliable WiFi, faster processor and an upgraded camera– Google had listened to community feedback and implemented great changes.

However, this AR device is aimed at business and enterprise-level users.

Pros:

  • Battery life of 8 hours
  • Superior upgrades compared to earlier product versions

Cons:

  • Expensive price tag, restricting the target to enterprise level users
http://Kopin%20SOLOS
Selection
By Kopin
CountryUnited States
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 499

Another highly regarded AR smart glass, the Kopin SOLOS was designed for sports enthusiasts; cyclists, runners, and triathletes. In addition to an affordable price, the AR headset can also measure the user’s performance like elapsed time, speed, power, and heart rate.

Therefore, it offer users a great range of functions in addition to audio, video, and AR app use.

Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • A range of user performance trackers
  • Access to a large variety of AR applications

Cons:

  • Limited 5-hour battery life
http://Toshiba%20dynaEdge%20AR100%20Viewer
Selection
By Toshiba
CountryJapan
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 1,899

Toshiba dynaEdge AR100 Viewer is an augmented reality head-mounted display aimed at professional users. These AR smart glasses require it to be tethered to the Toshiba dynaEdge DE-100, a battery-powered mini Windows 10 PC.

Some of the features include noise-canceling microphones and programmable buttons which allow the user to personalize the way they navigate the software.

Pros:

  • Fits over most traditional glasses
  • Noise-canceling microphones

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Requires to be tethered to a mini PC
http://Vuzix%20Blade
Selection
By Vuzix
CountryUnited States
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 999

Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses are AR glasses which work with smartphones running Android or iOS. In addition, the augmented reality wearable glasses feature a powerful 8 MP HD camera, haptic feedback, and rechargeable batteries. Other highlights include the versatile eyeglass options and noise-canceling microphones. Vuzix also manufactures the M100, M300, and iWear.

Pros:

  • Powerful 8 MP HD camera
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Noise-canceling microphone

Cons:

  • High price point for non-commercial users
http://ThirdEyeGen%20X2
Selection

X2

CountryUnited States
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 2,999

ThirdEye Gen X2 are augmented reality smart glasses which are compatible with AR and VR applications. Intended for professional and educational uses, these AR smart glasses can share the user’s point of view with a remote person via video communication and live audio for remote assistance. They boast an excellent battery life of 8 hours, but the user can also switch to external batteries.

Pros:

  • Real-time screen sharing
  • Long battery life and external battery option

Cons:

  • Small FOV of 42°
  • High price point for commercial use
http://Vuzix%20M300
Selection
By Vuzix
CountryUnited States
Price
Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).
$ 999

Vuzix M300 are designed for enterprise use and not mass consumers. However, the AR glasses feature great memory (64 GB), a range of connectivity and VUZIX Basics™ Apps platform offers a variety of content. Furthermore, the augmented reality smart glasses are compatible with both Android and iOS. Vuzix also offers the M100Blade Smart Glasses, and iWear.

Pros:

  • Impressive 64 GB internal memory
  • Variety of content available through VUZIX Basics™ Apps platform
  • Full range of additional accessories available to purchase

Cons:

  • Poor standard battery life of 2 hours (can use external batteries for extended use)

Special mentions

As we base our list on community feedback and trusted ratings, some noteworthy virtual reality headsets haven’t made their way into our main selection. That’s why we’ve decided to provide additional insight into the AR smartglasses market with special mentions for HMDs that are under the radar or that aren’t available to the masses just yet.

Gaming: Lenovo Mirage Star Wars Jedi Challenges

The Lenovo Mirage Star Wars Jedi Challenges is an easy-to-use and reliable product based on community feedback. We chose to leave it out of our list as it’s severely restricted to Star Wars gaming content/apps.

Promising prototype: Leap Motion North Star AR

The Leap Motion North Star is an open-source AR headset. Leap Motion isn’t currently planning to develop the hardware for commercial use, but this may change.

The key feature that has AR enthusiasts excited is the hand-tracking system. Furthermore, even as a prototype, the overall specs are impressive: 100° FOV, a high refresh rate of 120 FPS (frames per second), and 1600 x 1440p resolution per eye.

Affordable smartphone AR: Mira Prism

The Mira Prism is an augmented reality headset for smartphones, available at a very reasonable price point of $99. In addition, this AR HMD is compatible with iOS devices (4.7 to 5.8 inches). Users can access AR content on Apple’s App Store or through Mira’s proprietary AR apps.

Promising crowdfunding: ANTVR MIX

The ANTVR MIX is a tethered AR headset that was successful in raising funds through Kickstarter in 2018. The AR HMD aims to offer VR capabilities and has a wide FOV of 96°.

Retractable AR display: Optinvent ORA-X

The Optinvent ORA-X is another unique option as the wearable AR device are actually headphones featuring a retractable AR display. Users can interact with videos, play games, and use AR applications.

In addition to these, Apple, Samsung (in partnership with Windows), and Google are all rumored to be working on AR headsets or AR smart glasses.

Augmented reality: who is it for?

The rise of AR applications on smartphones makes them accessible to a large, mainstream audience. But AR is not limited to gaming or entertainment. At the enterprise level, augmented reality can benefit a variety of industries through remote assistance in workplace learning and development.

  • Entertainment and gaming
  • Manufacturing
  • Social AR
  • Marketing
  • Travel
  • Education
  • Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Entertainment
  • Real estate
  • Sport
  • Military

Augmented reality can be used in varying industries, and augmented reality companies are rapidly using augmented technology in innovative ways. According to the 2018 IDC report on VR and AR, non-smartphone AR headsets will lead the growth by 2021.

How to choose the best AR glasses

AR applications

The release of SDKs like ARCore for Android and ARKit for iOS allows developers to produce a greater range of user experiences and give users, in turn, an opportunity to experience augmented reality.

Examples of AR popular SDKs:

  • Facebook AR studio: supports 3D rendering, real-time face tracking, object recognition and visual effects, AR shopping apps and navigation.
  • Apple ARKit: a toolkit to create AR apps for iPhones and iPads.
  • Google’s ARCore: uses 3D positioning, motion tracking, Google Lens, and AI-powered visual-search technologies that tether to smartphones or tablets.

Others AR toolkits include Vuforia, Wikitude, EasyAR, and many more.

Battery life and FOV

There are some key factors to consider in choosing an AR headset, aside from price limitations.

FOV (Field of view)

Increased FOV results in better immersion for the user. AR still falls behind VR headsets and the mixed reality headsets currently in production. The standard average is around 100° for these VR headsets but is significantly lower in AR glasses.

Battery life

Longer battery life ensures prolonged use of the augmented reality smart glasses and a better experience for the user. There is now a range of options to extend the use of the AR headsets, including battery packs, replaceable or rechargeable batteries, tethered devices (permanent power source), etc. which all have their own pros and cons.

Other requirements for AR glasses

The other requirements for augmented reality can include:

  • Processing power
  • Network connectivity options (Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.)
  • Cameras for detecting surroundings and taking high-resolution images and video
  • High-resolution display
  • Microphone
  • Speaker
  • Internal sensors (GPS, gyroscopes, magnetometers, and accelerometers)

Our Ultimate VR, AR, MR guide explains in more detail the technical considerations for understanding the differences and examples of the technologies and products available.