Roman Ahrens

Glasses on, hands free

In the recent past, smart glasses were hardly in focus for a long time. Amazing, considering the diverse application examples of such smart glasses. At the Mobile World Congress (MWC), I tested the smart glasses prototype that Deutsche Telekom is developing with Zeiss.


I resisted wearing glasses for a long time. At some point, I realized that it is probably necessary. The idea that people could actually wear glasses voluntarily seemed totally absurd.

Meanwhile, I'm rather the other way around: Without glasses, everything seems pretty blurred. Soon, however, eyewear could not only provide for better, but for a completely different vision. Together with Zeiss, Telekom is currently developing smart glasses in its joint venture called tooz technologies, which is intended to open up new worlds for their wearers.

Visually, the glasses, which were officially presented as a prototype at the Mobile World Congress, are reminiscent of sunglasses in their current form. A bit chunkier indeed, but considering how much technology it has inside, it is almost gracile. Of course, if the eyewear should actually become a mass market product, it must be as discreet as possible.

Operation is a habituation thing

My first impression, as I testes the glasses under the strained glances of the DT and Zeiss representatives at the MWC: completely unfamiliar. In a small window in the right, lower third runs a demo video of possible applications. The look in this section of the field of vision initially feels funny. The perfect cutout in this window is still to be set, I was assured by the experts - after all, in the current phase, it would be all about trying out. In order to operate the glasses, one uses a small touchpad on the right edge of the glasses.

By the way, I think it's mostly a matter of habituation: just as varifocals is irritating in the beginning, but over time offers an extreme added value, it could be synonymous with the smart glasses.

A pair of glasses, 1,000 possibilities

In addition to the look and handling, it is mainly about use cases. Most important, it is indispensable to find out who could have what added value through such data glasses. Both companies have developed use cases in recent months with more than 40 partners from industry, trade and science. Whether the mapping of a virtual ego while jogging, which projects the respective best time as a hologram on the track, individualized offers for every customer in supermarkets, fading in the social media profiles of the opposite or as added value to an operating doctor: The ideas are incredibly diverse.

Theoretically most of the use cases of the glasses could also be displayed on the smartphone. Disadvantage: You always have to hold it in your hand. The glasses, on the other hand, leave you completely free. So, if you do not use the tablet when cooking with flour-dusted hands, but only have to look into the corner of the glasses for a short time to check the recipe, that would be a small but definite advantage for me.