This time, there’s a new generation of smart glasses in town: the $349 Frame glasses, which are billed as giving you multimodal “AI superpowers.” The open-source eyewear is made by Brilliant Labs, a firm that bills Frame as a method to have web search, visual analysis, and AI translations appear directly before your eyes.
You can use your voice to instruct the glasses to perform tasks like identifying a landmark you’re staring at, searching the web for a specific pair of sneakers you’re eyeing, or even finding out the calorie count of the food you’re going to consume, as demonstrated in a video that Brilliant Labs posted. The data is presented as an overlay that is displayed directly on the lens.
You can preorder the frame in three colors right now: clear, gray, and black. Prescription lenses are also an option, although they come at an additional cost of $448. The frame will begin shipping on April 15.
Although the idea of smart glasses is not new, none of them have gained much popularity. Previous attempts at smart eyewear include the Focals glasses from North, the audio augmented reality (AR) sunglasses from Bose that are no longer in production, and most recently, the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses with AI features that are still in beta. Compared to what we’ve seen so far, these glasses from Brilliant Labs appear much more interesting because they should be fully hackable and open source, offering consumers even more freedom.
Frame is compatible with the Noa app from Brilliant Labs. The AI assistant in the app uses Perplexity for web search, Whisper for translation, and OpenAI for visual analysis. Brilliant Labs claims that its Noa AI “learns and adapts to both the user and the tasks it receives” in an interview with Venture Beat.
Noa is free to use, although it is “subject to a daily cap.” Because of this, the firm intends to provide a premium tier via Noa; however, the price of this tier is currently unknown. However, Brilliant Labs states on its Discord channel that there is “no paywall or subscription” and that you are free to use the eyewear with other apps. This means that you won’t have to pay to use the gear on its own.
Frame’s specifications are described in Brilliant Labs’ Discord channel. The glasses have a color micro-OLED with 640 x 400 pixels that projects light in front of the wearer’s eyes via a prism. It has a field of vision that is just about 20 degrees on the diagonal, which is small for mixed or augmented reality glasses—especially when you compare it to the 52 degrees that Xreal’s new Air 2 Ultra design offers. You’ll only be able to see text or images contained in a tiny box.
A 222mAh battery, a microphone, and a 1280 x 720 camera are all included with the frame. It is powered by a nRF52840 Cortex-M4F CPU and runs a proprietary operating system based on Lua that is “fully open source with very few dependencies.” Certain specifications, like the display, are also used by Brilliant Labs in Monocle, their other wearable, which they market as “a pocket-sized AR device for the imaginative hacker.”
Additionally, the glasses come with a funny Mister Power charger that promises “all-day battery life” and quick charging. When plugged in, the charger gives the glasses a “nose.” It’s too soon to say how Frame will compare to rival smart glasses, such as the failed Google Glass project or Meta’s $299 Ray-Ban glasses. However, compared to Apple’s almost 600-gram Vision Pro, they will feel much lighter on your face at less than 40 grams.