The Google Glass smart glasses were originally released as a limited prototype run back in 2013. They were intended to provide a science fiction-like heads-up display (HUD) that users could wear as they went about their daily lives. But they were a massive flop. That wasn’t necessarily because the technology itself was lacking — it was really more of a result of them causing privacy concerns and being incredibly unfashionable. However, that doesn’t mean the concept isn’t interesting, which is why Redditor Infranix has built his own DIY smart glasses using a Raspberry Pi Zero W.
The original Google Glass smart glasses were essentially a small computer mounted to the frame of a pair of glasses. Users could interact with it using a touch pad or voice commands, and information was displayed on a small projection in their field of view. The Google Glass also included a forward-facing camera that could be used to analyze the world or take photos and video — a major factor contributing to the privacy concerns. Infranix’s smart glasses work in a similar way, but omit the camera.
The computer that Infranix used is a Raspberry Pi Zero W single-board computer (SBC) that is mounted to one side of the glasses. On the opposite side, there is a 1200mAh LiPo battery and charging circuit. A small microphone is used to pick up voice commands, which are then processed using a speech-to-text app and used to trigger some action via a Python3 user interface software. The final component is the heads-up display, which Infranix built used a small OLED screen that is reflected off of a piece of transparent plastic so the user can see it. It may not be as polished as the Google Glass, but this is still a fantastic wearable project.
DIY Smart Glasses Built with a Raspberry Pi Zero W was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.