Can these $350 smart glasses succeed where Google failed?

Brilliant Labs' Frame more than meets the eye

Frame by Brilliant Labs
(Image credit: Brilliant Labs)

While much (or all) of the focus on the future of augmented reality might be getting sucked up by Apple at the moment, that represents just one sort of AR experience.

While it's extremely sophisticated, the Apple Vision Pro is also bulky and immersive rather than passive and unobtrusive, which is in stark contrast to Google Glass, which had some neat ideas before it was eventually shuttered.

However, a new entrant into the latter field is now on its way from Brilliant Labs. It is developing a pair of slimline smartglasses it's calling Frame, and they look at lot like they'll try to carry the torch that Google dropped. 

The glasses look, for all the world, like regular specs, just a little chunkier and with two telltale bobbles at the end of their arms, which will rest behind your ears while you wear them.

These house the glasses' batteries, while their processors rest in the bridge above your nose. This will let the glasses offer up a heads-up display experience, with text and information displayed right in front of your eyes (or, in fact, one of your eyes, since it seems to only be on one side).

Frame will harness AI, apparently, to power responses to vocalised queries that you make, with on-board microphones to detect these, although it looks like this will be subject to some daily restrictions unless you subscribe to an as-yet unpriced subscription.

The glasses themselves do have a price, though, starting at $350 with international rates not announced. They'll apparently release in April this year, which means they're really not all that distant now. 

There's absolutely no denying that from a design standpoint these look like an interesting option - they're as subtle a pair of smart glasses as we can remember seeing, even when compared to something like Meta's Ray-Ban smart glasses, which are given away by the camera lenses on board.

Still, time and hands-on experience will be the only way people can really tell if they work for them, and how well those AI features actually integrate into everyday life. They do at least have the capacity to house prescription lenses, so in theory these should be available to anyone who fancies a try. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.