Smart glasses: The future of work productivity?

After decades of novelty releases that never quite hit the mainstream, wearable tech is finally having a real moment in the sun. The market has been primed thanks to years of good offerings from the smartwatch department, and with the proliferation of augmented reality (AR), smart glasses are poised to be next to take the world by storm.

If you don’t personally have a smartwatch, I bet you know someone who wears one to work. Could we soon be seeing smart glasses in the office?

While widespread adoption is still a way off, the Focused inSights Smart Eyewear 2023 report found that more than a third of adults intend to purchase smart eyewear this year, with early tech adopters and those in urban communities notably likely to make the purchase.

Shiny new tech is always a topic of conversation, and there’s a lot of chatter around AI in project management at the moment. For project managers, in particular, smart glasses have the potential to change the way you juggle tasks, access and visualize data, and communicate with teammates and stakeholders.

But first, let’s dive into the revolutionary tech powering these specs.

The technology behind smart glasses

With the help of nanotechnology, smart glasses integrate a computer’s key functionalities into eyewear lenses, featuring a digital display that users can view alongside what they see in real life.

Today, modern iterations like the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses are integrated with livestream and artificial intelligence technologies, plus immersive directional audio and voice command capabilities for seamless hands-free communication. Take calls direct from your glasses.

And yes, they’re compatible with prescription lenses, because who needs a pair of glasses that are just for show?

If you’re a project manager who needs to stay connected wherever you go, the eyewear’s Meta AI conversational assistant can send messages, control features, and find quick answers to questions that pop into your head as you go about your busy day.

Think ChatGPT and a personal AI assistant, but built into your glasses.

And if you need to keep track of a project’s physical progress, it has an ultra-wide 12-megapixel camera for quick snaps and 1080p video recording – great for capturing ‘in progress’ shots of your construction site, or even simply capturing your team in the office.

(We’ve recently put together a round up slide deck of achievements from our team in the past 12 months and realized we hardly have any photos of any of the work we’ve done – that’s going to change next year!)

Project managers who spend extensive time doing fieldwork, such as those involved in construction, live events, or supply chain management, could benefit from smart eyewear that makes accessing information easy, because it means you don’t have to carry a tablet or laptop around with you.

The Vuzix Ultralite S glasses deliver hands-free, wireless connectivity to the information from the wearer’s smartphone or smartwatch in crisp, see-through imaging. This allows project managers to quickly refer to relevant workplace data and messages from colleagues while onsite.

Plus, the virtual platform can be customized for different styles and technology configurations depending on your needs.

Smart glasses for project management

The most promising application for smart glasses in project management is remote collaboration. The ability to work as a team and facilitate demonstrations that show a person’s exact, real-time point of view can aid greatly in projects that require complex, step-by-step support.

The Meta Smart Glasses will enable you to share these live AR experiences, creating leaner, more efficient workflows. That’s helpful if you’re planning training or need users to interact with a prototype before getting their hands on the final model.

In industries requiring precision and efficiency, such as manufacturing and logistics, project managers can use smart glasses to access quality control data on project deliverables to ensure they meet the expected standards. This helps to pinpoint and fix issues early before they cause significant problems, saving money and time.

In environments where safety is paramount, smart glasses with advanced directional capabilities like the Vuzix Ultralite eliminate the need for project managers to hold extra devices or printing materials, reducing workplace accidents.

We’ve covered implementing AI in projects before on this blog, and how AI can automate administrative tasks to free up time for high-value activities. With AI improvements in upcoming versions of smart glasses, project managers may soon be able to perform on-the-go calculations and generate brief reports without ever cracking open a laptop.

AR smart glasses are set to reshape the landscape of the various industries that project managers operate in, empowering them with tools to navigate a hectic and high-stakes workplace routine. Whether improving productivity, streamlining communication, or minimizing human errors, this wearable is set to become an indispensable part of any project manager’s routine.

Interested in how tech is shaping project management? Read these next.

Generative AI for project managers

How project management is shaped by the Internet of Things

Project management trends you need to know