Business Is Driving the Smart Glasses Boom: Kiplinger Forecasts

The advanced tech has many practical uses for companies.

To help you understand what is going on in the tech sector and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly-experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest...

As Apple and Meta battle it out to push virtual reality to the mainstream, don’t overlook the growing array of practical business uses of smart glasses in manufacturing, car repair, energy work, logistics, etc. 

Shipments of smart glasses — a segment that includes augmented-reality glasses that overlay digital information onto the real world, and much simpler devices with a mini-display — are set to jump. It’s still a small category, but ABI Research estimates shipments will hit 25 million among business users in 2027, versus fewer than 2 million in 2022. One big use: Remote assistance, where someone in the field wears glasses equipped with a camera and microphone, and someone back in the office can walk them through the work. 

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Expect many success stories for the productivity-boosting tech soon. But also many stumbles. 

The Microsoft HoloLens, a cutting-edge AR device, has had numerous issues being integrated into military training, despite its promise. Google, which made a splash with its early set of glasses, has abandoned the project. Other companies working on promising devices: TeamViewer, Vuzix and Lenovo. One lightweight model from Vuzix used in healthcare and other settings costs $1,800.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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John Miley
Senior Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

John Miley is a Senior Associate Editor at The Kiplinger Letter. He mainly covers technology, telecom and education, but will jump on other important business topics as needed. In his role, he provides timely forecasts about emerging technologies, business trends and government regulations. He also edits stories for the weekly publication and has written and edited e-mail newsletters.

He joined Kiplinger in August 2010 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, where he wrote stories, fact-checked articles and researched investing data. After two years at the magazine, he moved to the Letter, where he has been for the last decade. He holds a BA from Bates College and a master’s degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University, where he specialized in business reporting. An avid runner and a former decathlete, he has written about fitness and competed in triathlons.