NanoMarkets Issues New Report on Smart Glasses Markets

GLEN ALLEN, VA -- According to a new report from industry analyst firm NanoMarkets, smart glasses, such as Google "Glass" will generate $3.2 billion in new business revenues for the makers of sensors, lightguides, microdisplays and micromirrors. The firm sees these devices as potentially emerging as a mass market item with potential for replacing smart phones as the main mobile computing and communications platform over the next decade.

About the Report

This report examines the components and subsystems markets for smart glasses, focusing on the markets for both the core optical subsystems (curved mirrors, diffractive, holographic, polarized optics, reflective, switchable waveguides, and VRDs) and key human-computer interfaces (touch, voice recognition, gesture recognition, speech-text conversion, eye-tracking and BCI). Eight-year forecasts in revenue and volume terms are included for each of these components and subsystems.

From the Report

The market for optical subsystems (comprising mirrors, lightguides and microdisplays) for smart glasses will reach $1.9 billion by 2019. NanoMarkets notes there are considerable opportunities for improving on today's systems which often distort or lose light and can result in overly large and unattractive smart glasses. In particular, there is a trend towards thinner lightguides and smaller components with which smart glasses can more closely resemble a pair of regular spectacles.

The arrival of smart glasses could also result in a revolution in mobile display technology. Almost all mobile displays today are LCDs or OLEDs, but displays for smart glasses are just as likely to be based liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) or even Texas Instruments' DLP technology. If the smart glasses market takes off, then the "average" mobile display would become increasingly likely to be LCoS rather than standard LCDs. This would create opportunities for LCoS makers, who have often been fairly marginal firms up until now. Two display firms – Himax and Kopin – are already a presence in the smart glasses segment and a few large suppliers – Hitachi and JVC for example – have the resources to compete with their own LCoS displays for smart glasses.

An intrinsic part of the wearable computer concept is that wearables – including smart glasses – will "merge" with the body of the wearer. This implies that smart glasses will transition to more "natural" human-computer interfaces (HCIs) and suggests that there will be a transition from the touch and voice control that are now common in smart glass to gesture control (especially eye tracking) and, eventually BCIs. At the present time, the revenues from eye tracking and BCIs in smart glasses are negligible, but combined are expected to reach more than $680 million by 2019. Eye-tracking technology is already being developed by Google for Google "Glass."

For further details on the report including a downloadable excerpt, visit

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