Smart glasses haven’t had much impact on the consumer market so far. Google Glass didn’t take hold with consumers (but that wasn’t their goal). Virtual reality (VR) headsets get more media coverage, where they are marketed mainly to the gaming industries where apparently cost isn’t a barrier. Early reports of VR-induced user queasiness, cumbersome hookups, plus the high price of the best VR experiences haven’t swayed most consumers to take a second or even a first look.

It would be a mistake to relegate smart glasses to failure as tomorrow’s Betamax. Google Glass Enterprise and other augmented reality (AR) devices enjoy successful applications in healthcare and industrial settings. We have written about Stanford’s Autism Glass Project several times. AR applications in health care range from assisting during vascular neurosurgery to helping blind people navigate, coaching kids’ toothbrushing habits, and enabling aging in place. Applications for AR wearables in industrial setting include workplace safety, changes in manufacturing processes, and much more.

ThirdEye recently introduced X2 Vision, the company’s second-generation AR glasses. ThirdEye refers to X2 as “mixed reality smart glasses.” The definitions of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality (MR) are somewhat fluid, especially regarding the differences between AR and MR. With both AR and MR, the wearer sees additional content overlaid on views of the real world.

According to ThirdEye, the X2 smart glasses will be available in later 2019 for $1,950. The glasses weigh 6 ounces and have a 42-degree field of view (FOV). ThirdEye claims the glasses are the equivalent of a 90-inch high definition screen viewed from a distance of 10 feet. The lenses give a stereoscopic 720p view of content at 60 frames per second, which is more than adequate for depicting smooth motion. The glasses also include three cameras, noise-cancelling microphones, and three-axis gyroscopes, accelerometers, and compass. Designed for extensive indoor and outdoor use, the X2 glasses support high brightness levels.

ThirdEye’s X2 glasses include the VisionEye SLAM SDK, an application development platform with tools for tracking motion, understanding surfaces and planes, working with sound and light, object anchoring, and much more. Users can also download apps from ThirdEye’s app store, which is already populated with free apps for industrial use are already available along with apps for Instagram, Netflix, Youtube, facial recognition, browsing, and games.

Given the wide range of healthcare, medical, and industrial application potential with X2, the initial market will likely remain in professional and commercial realms. At $2K, the X2 smart glasses are getting close to a price that individuals might pay in some circumstances. People pay that much for a notebook computer and even some smartphones such as the new folding phones, so this price is not really all that crazy.