Smart Glasses: use cases, challenges, and future potential

Smart glasses, the eyewear technology that layers information onto a user’s field of view, started off as simple front-end displays. Throughout the years, we saw it progressing to being capable of performing complex computer-powered tasks. Below, we will cover a few highly-rated devices, followed by successful use case applications.

Unlike the 100% immersive virtual reality headsets, smart glasses give users a sense of physical and digital worlds simultaneously, providing a much more natural experience. This experience is achieved through either an Optical Head-Mounted Display (OHMD), Augmented Reality (AR) technology, or through Heads Up Display Glasses (HUD).

Despite its continuous growth and value potential in the enterprise and industrial sectors, these wearable computer glasses still face challenges that delay them from reaching mass-market usage.


Facing a defining moment, smart glasses companies currently strive to expand their ground. Even though businesses are finding great workflow solutions through eyewear technology, the public will still have to wait a little longer to reap the benefits of mass accessibility and usage.

Smart glasses producers have realized that to reach mass-market usage, they must first overcome the challenge of balancing functionality and wearability at an affordable cost.

According to Fast Company, “the sheer number of components needed to make AR glasses function will be hard to squeeze into a design that you wouldn’t mind wearing around all day. This includes cameras to pinpoint physical location, cameras to track the movement of eyes to see what you’re looking at, displays large enough to overlay the full breadth of your field of view, processors to power the displays, and the computer vision AI that identifies objects, and a small and efficient power supply.” Furthermore, ensuring comfort design and cooling mechanisms to compensate for intense computation will be key for mass adoption. 

Despite these challenges, there are many smart glasses in circulation today providing great value to various users. Below, we will cover a few highly-rated devices, followed by successful use case applications.

Smart Glasses

Lenovo ThinkReality A6

The ThinkReality A6 AR headset includes inside-out 6DoF tracking to optimize AR experiences and enable industrial versatility. This mobile device is designed to help the workforce use AR applications to receive expert assistance, reduce repair times, decrease errors, streamline complex workflows, improve training quality, and save costs. The device is powered by Wikitude image and object recognition technology.

Epson Moverio BT-300

This lightweight eyewear device contains a front-facing camera, motion tracker, and a display on each lens. The device is suitable for entertainment, manufacturing, medical science, and more.

Supported by Wikitude: optimized Epson SDK

Vuzix M300

These smart glasses provide an agile workplace, with fully connected staff and managers. Industry operations are facilitated by the wide range of apps available, a built-in HD camera, AMLCD display, and more.

Supported by Wikitude: optimized Vuzix SDK

Mira Prism Pro

Since no plugs, computers, or wires are needed, this AR headset offers an alternative way to interact with holographic images. The company has recently raised ﹩10 million funding and decided to focus solely on the industrial use of the headsets. Mira Prism Pro device features external cameras and a see-through interface, allowing hands-free intuitive interactions with the real world.

To be supported by Wikitude: optimized Mira Prisma SDK


The HoloLens is an untethered mixed reality device that is designed to deliver value instantly. Users get the benefits of using cloud and AI services from Microsoft—including reliability, security, and scalability.

Being one of the leading mixed reality headset devices on the market, Wikitude has optimized its augmented reality SDK to support and complement the Microsoft HoloLens 1. 

Use cases

Better than asking what a specific device is capable of, we want to answer a more important question. What are some solutions smart glasses can provide? What is stirring the computerized eyewear market right now?

Video Collaboration

The most prominent application for smart glasses today is most definitely video collaboration. The ability to work together with experts remotely in a “see-what-I-see” system is improving many sectors across the board. Applicable from field service to complex engineering support, remote assistance functionality makes more companies incorporate the smartglasses technology into their workflows.

Complex Manufacturing

Assembly lines are all about speed, productivity, accuracy, compliance, and quality control. These fundamental elements happen to be the exact areas in which smart glasses can deliver. In tasks where every detail counts, automotive and aerospace manufacturers implement eyewear devices to bring real-time solutions to the factory floor.

Logistics and Warehousing

While keeping their hands free and receiving directions and visual cues directly in their field of view, warehouse workers can quickly locate, collect, and deliver items. Smart glasses are substituting handheld devices, scanners, and printed materials. As a result, employees are increasing productivity while decreasing errors and subsequent costs.

Building and Construction

Using smart glasses (or smart hard hats), construction workers experience a safer, more productive hands-free workflow. Structural inspections and errors can also be more accurately held and corrected through remote solutions offered in real-time.

Validation functionality

Augmented reality solutions are invaluable when it comes to maintenance. Smart glasses allow technicians to receive step-by-step visual prompts to help accomplish tasks such as assembling, repair, or maintenance procedures. The head-mounted displays also come in handy for technicians to validate the actions to ensure that every step was correctly executed.

Consumer Level

Even though the consumer market still can grow, we can already see use cases in various areas. For example, AR guides that enhance visitors’ experiences in museums. Theaters rely on eyewear to provide instant subtitling to their guests, while tourists can easily find their way around through projected navigation directions and reviews. Athletes can have access to real-time speed, power, distance, and other indications. Drone pilots conveniently see their drone’s field of view. All these are critical and worthy niches, even if they are still far from mass adoption.

Future potential

The current use of smart glasses is convincing more and more forward-thinking businesses to hop on board. Although widespread public usage is still pending, smart glasses have found valuable areas to operate, develop, and grow. So helpful that it is not surprising to hear that tech giants like Apple, Samsung, and Meta (just think of Oculus market success!) are working on their AR-powered smart glasses.

Let’s take a look at the potential this technology has in store for those still not convinced.

Imagine being able to update the knowledge you need directly to an eyewear database. This scenario allows a hands-free workforce with instant access to targeted knowledge directly in their field of view. Such an implementation would ultimately increase quality control, improve maintenance, provide faster and more reliable solutions, save money on management and training, facilitate remote assistance, to name a few.

Until mass-market glasses finally hit the stores, this eyewear technology will continue doing its magic behind the curtains hidden in facilities, warehouses, and construction sites worldwide.

SDK releases

Wikitude SDK 8.6: HoloLens + Flutter Plugin + Geo AR for Unity

After another productive product improvement cycle, the Wikitude team is excited to present SDK version 8.6. The update includes our powerful – now product ready – HoloLens AR package, introduces support for Flutter, adds Geo-AR for Unity users, and offers further performance enhancements.

Wikitude SDK 8.6 at a glance:

  • Wikitude SDK for Hololens – production version
  • Flutter Plugin – release candidate
  • Geo AR for Unity Plugin (by PendAR)
  • Performance and stability enhancements

Wikitude SDK for HoloLens – Production Version

The Wikitude augmented reality SDK for Microsoft HoloLens 1 is Unity based, comes with a Holographic UI sample app, and is now available in production version. 

A little over a month ago, we launched our HoloLens AR SDK release candidate. The package allowed our customers and partners to test Wikitude Object + Image + Cloud and more HoloLens AR-tracking technology features within their projects.

The response has been very positive. And we have also received valuable feedback which enabled us to improve the platform even further, resulting in a powerful production-ready HoloLens AR SDK. 

With Wikitude SDK 8.6, companies can now purchase and download our augmented reality package for Microsoft HoloLens 1 to create high-performing AR solutions.

New Image Recognition samples for Wikitude AR SDK for HoloLens

Make sure to check out the new Image Target samples to review the performance of the Wikitude SDK for HoloLens.

Additionally, you may access our Wikitude HoloLens Documentation section for further details, instructions, and information.

Augmented Reality for Flutter – Release Candidate Plugin

Wikitude SDK 8.6 is the first AR platform to provide official support for Flutter.

Flutter is an open-source mobile application UI development framework toolkit created by Google. It is used to develop natively-compiled applications for iOS and Android from a single codebase.

Wikitude developers can now work with Wikitude SDK 8.6 to add augmented reality technology to their projects created in Flutter. The Flutter Plugin is based on JavaScript API and comes with the full package: Wikitude AR library/framework, sample apps, and documentation.

Flutter AR Plugin: Feedback Welcomed

As this is a release candidate, we are eager to receive as much developer feedback as possible. When trying the flutter AR plugin, feel free to send us an email ( to share what you liked about the development experience and, most importantly, what you think could be improved. Every email received will be highly appreciated and taken into consideration in the improvement process.

Please access the Flutter package manager to install the plugin.

Geo AR for Unity Plugin

Location-based augmented reality is a big hit among the augmented reality community. Starting with Wikitude SDK 8.6, and thanks to PendAR – augmented reality partner of Wikitude, developers can now use LBAR to create Geo-AR experiences in no time in Unity3D. 

LBAR offers a very simple workflow for location-based applications. It can be integrated with other apps in Unity3D, and there will be no need to put effort into geo calculations. LBAR also offers a simple and easy-to-use radar so users can have a better understanding of their surroundings.

Access the Wikitude download page to select the LBAR Geo-AR SDK package.

AR SDK Performance and Stability Enhancements

With every new Wikitude SDK release, our quality assurance team takes the opportunity to review and optimize the platform to ensure all AR features, classic and new, are performing as they should be, enhancing stability whenever possible.

Wikitude SDK 8.6 includes a series of fixes and stability improvements. Please review the release notes for your platform for an in-depth report.

Download Wikitude SDK 8.6

Active Wikitude SDK subscribers are entitled to all SDK version updates released throughout their term. Follow the links below to update your SDK:

New to Wikitude? Download a free Wikitude SDK 8.6 trial version for testing purposes and contact our team to discuss upgrade possibilities.

To explore all SDK options, including smart glasses, plugins, and other dev tools, please access our download page:

Interested in creating an AR project of your own? Access our store to choose your package or contact our team to discuss your specific AR requirements in detail.

SDK releases

Augmented Reality SDK for Microsoft HoloLens

Expand the capability of HoloLens with the Wikitude AR SDK: attach digital AR content to images, objects, barcodes, QR codes, and personalized targets with fast, scalable and reliable AR recognition solutions.

More and more industries are investing in mixed reality headset devices to optimize their operational efficiency.

With this in mind, Wikitude has optimized its augmented reality SDK to support and complement one of the leading mixed reality headset devices on the market: Microsoft HoloLens 1.

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens is an immersive, ergonomic, instinctual, and untethered mixed reality headset device that enables valuable hands-free industry-leading solutions.

An essential part of what makes said solutions efficient, flexible and personalizable is augmented reality technology.

That is why the Microsoft HoloLens 1 mixed reality device offers out-of-the-box augmented reality functionality:

Native AR Functionality in Microsoft HoloLens 1

  • Positional Tracking/Instant Tracking
  • Scene Reconstruction/Plane Detection
  • Cloud/Persistent Anchors
  • Stereoscopic Rendering
  • Calibration

As valuable as these out-of-the-box HoloLens AR functions are, they do not cover a broad spectrum of augmented reality solutions and do not enable image or object recognition and tracking. That is where the Wikitude SDK steps in.

Wikitude AR SDK for HoloLens

Get More Out of HoloLens

The Wikitude AR SDK has been optimized to support and complement HoloLens 1 by enabling developers to implement additional augmented reality features into their projects.

Wikitude Augmented Reality Functionality on Hololens 1

  • Image/Multiple Image Recognition
    Attach digital content to images and any trackable 2D surface
  • Object Recognition
    Attach digital content to physical Objects
  • Cloud Recognition
    Fast, scalable and reliable online recognition solution for big projects
  • Plugins API (Barcode and QR code samples)
    Attach digital content to basically anything with personalized targets

This means, when working with the Wikitude AR SDK for HoloLens, industries can go beyond and attach digital AR content to images, objects, barcodes, QR codes, and personalized targets.

Image Recognition – Wikitude SDK for HoloLens 1
Multiple Targets – Image Recognition – Wikitude SDK for HoloLens 1
Object Recognition – Wikitude SDK for HoloLens 1

Wikitude AR + HoloLens = Personalized Workforce Solutions

Incorporate Wikitude AR technology in HoloLens to optimize: training, quality management, communication, assembly, maintenance, repair, safety, inspections, communication, product identification, and more.

With applications ranging from digitally augmented step-by-step instruction guides to compliance checklists, to product identification, to instant collaboration, many are the proven benefits of hands-free AR:

  • Reduce: human errors, execution time, breakdowns, downtime, cost
  • Increase: productivity, operation speed, fix rates, compliance, profit

Reliable Augmented Reality

When implementing and investing in projects of this nature, it is essential to choose and work with partners you can trust. Wikitude has not only been developing and providing augmented reality technology since 2008 but has proudly become the world’s leading independent AR platform provider along the way.

Download Wikitude SDK for HoloLens 1: Release Candidate

Sample Application – Wikitude SDK for HoloLens 1

The Wikitude augmented reality software development kit for Microsoft HoloLens 1 is Unity based, comes with a Holographic UI sample app, and is now available!

Access our HoloLens documentation section to start your first steps with the Wikitude SDK all the way through to advanced concepts and examples for developing your augmented reality project.

Put your HoloLens 1 project into action with the Wikitude AR SDK and work with the reliable augmented reality technology you need to create hands-free AR solutions tailored to your business objectives.