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New Smart Glasses Can Read Documents and Scan Faces

The concept of smart eyewear isn’t exactly new. We’ve seen a few iterations in the past with mixed results and a fair share of controversy. However, the newest line of smart glasses, offered by Envision and developed using Google Glass, is anything but controversial.

Envision’s smart glasses aren’t meant for the average individual. Instead, they’re specifically meant to make life easier for the blind. With Envision Glasses, those who are visually impaired will be able to “read” documents, easily identify familiar faces, and even make their way around town as needed.

Early Smart Glasses

As mentioned, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen smart eyewear enter the consumer market. In fact, Envision Glasses are actually built on the original platform that was used for Google Glass, which itself was created for use in smart glasses all the way back in 2013.

Facebook, now known as Meta, also tried their hand at smart eyewear in 2021. Having teamed up with Ray-Ban, their product served as a portable music player and digital camera, but it wasn’t without controversy. Watchdog groups specifically cited the use of an integrated digital camera in the frame of the glasses, which is capable of recording people without their consent or knowledge.

Technology for the Visually Impaired

Envision Glasses, however, are much less controversial. Although there is still the potential to record individuals without their knowledge, some watchdog groups are able to set certain issues to the side for the sake of benefitting the visually impaired. But Envision Glasses aren’t cheap. Available directly from the {{|company's website}} and select third-party distributors, this set of smart eyewear will cost you no less than $3,500.

If you want to test out their service before committing to a pair of glasses, interested users can also download the Envision app to use their smartphone’s camera in much of the same way; ultimately allowing you to scan documents and identify faces. The app costs $20 for an annual subscription, but users can also opt for a lifetime subscription for just $99. Users who purchase the eyeglasses are given a lifetime subscription to the app at no additional cost.

Additional features include the ability to detect colors, video calling, AI descriptions of images, spoken text, and more. Developers at Envision are already considering future updates, too. They’re reportedly in talks with various navigation apps to integrate their technology directly into future iterations of Envision Glasses.

Karthik Kanna, co-founder of Envision, described the smart eyewear by saying: ''“What Evision Glasses essentially does is takes in all the visual information that's around, tries to process that information, and then speaks it out to the user.”''

Envision Glasses currently offers two different iterations of their smart eyewear. Their Standard Titanium Frame design offers a minimalist design and no lenses, while the Smith Optics Frame is more stylistic. The latter also includes a pair of lenses that are easily replaceable with your prescription lenses. Every order includes a USB-C charging cable to power the smart eyewear.


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