Goggles, or safety glasses, are forms of protective eyewear that usually enclose or protect the area surrounding the eye in order to prevent particulates, water or chemicals from striking the eyes. They are used in chemistry laboratories and in woodworking. They are often used in snow sports as well, and in swimming. Goggles are often worn when using power tools such as drills or chainsaws to prevent flying particles from damaging the eyes. Many types of goggles are available as prescription goggles for those with vision problems.
VR and AR move fast: Phone-based VR goggles like the Gear VR and Daydream are already dead, but a new future is sprouting up fast underneath, promising a connected infrastructure for an AR/VR future. 5G plans are leaning on it. That ultraconnected landscape may not need you to be wearing a headset at all… and yeah, most people I know still haven’t even tried VR or AR goggles or glasses. But the technologies are already used to train athletes and astronauts, to help relieve pain in hospitals, to help the blind see, to create art, to make movies, to design products before they even exist. Smart glasses may not arrive in a way you might be wearing until the middle part of the next decade. But remember when we wondered if anyone would ever wear a smartwatch or a weird pair of earbuds?
Nobody’s nailed smart glasses yet, though many companies have tried (Snap Spectacles, North Focals, Vuzix Blade). Epson’s phone-connected Moverio glasses, as ugly as they look, show a future in which glasses and goggles are simply phone accessories. Qualcomm’s plans for 5G VR and smart glasses in 2020 show there’s a lot more to come.