Google Glass might not have done much to move fashion forward, but it has inspired a bevy of copycats—many of which will be on the market before Glass. Some of them are subtle, some futuristic, and some seem plucked straight from 1950s B-movies. The common thread: All of them will transform how we interact with our surroundings. How we’ll look wearing them is another story entirely.
The Awkward Scale: Smart glasses come with sacrifices, such as looking awkward. So we ranked the current models on a scale of 1–5, with 1 being the least awkward. As a baseline, Glass rates a 3.
More than others, Lumus’s glasses could pass for a normal pair of specs. Designers built a system, based on the head-mounted displays that the company makes for jet pilots, which use the glasses’ own lens as a screen. A mini projector on the arm projects the images.
Price: From $200 (est.; through partners); available early 2015 (est.)
Awkward Scale: 2/5
The M-100 doesn’t require a user to wear actual glasses (though they do ship with a pair). Because of its similarity to Bluetooth headsets, the M-100’s “monocular” style may help it blend in, at least a little.
Price: $1,000 (shown with safety glasses)
Awkward Scale: 3/5
Recon Instruments Jet
With the cycling-centric Jet, bikers can shoot video, track vital statistics, or monitor velocity without fiddling on a phone. Better news: The Jet’s somewhat odd appearance will most likely be overshadowed by its customers’ penchant for skintight spandex bodysuits.
Price: $599 (est.)
Awkward Scale: 3/5
A rotating arm allows users to pivot the screen on the ORA-S between a fully augmented reality display and a second screen “dashboard” just below the eyes. Auto-tinting sunglasses cover up the electronics in sunlight—but indoors, the contraption gives the face a distinctly cyborg-like cast.
Price: $949 (developer version)
Awkward Scale: 4/5
Epson Moverio BT-200
Users control the Moverio via wired remote, like a VCR circa 1981. But what the device lacks in looks it makes up for with some cool apps. One hacker used the remote to fly his Parrot AR.Drone and the HUD to view its video feed.
Awkward Scale: 5/5
This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of Popular Science.