Mars Kapadia is 16-years old and at that young age, he has accomplished something that not many people have. He built his own smart glasses that some believe might have a future if his work gets picked up by a tech firm. According to Popular Mechanics
, Kapadia, from Gilbert, Arizona, spent a year and a half working on his prototype. The device consists of a blue pair of shades that is equipped with a cheap microprocessor called the Arduino Nano Every.
Kapadia has competed in a number of science fairs and had built a prosthetic hand, and a mind-controlled car. The smart glasses was Kapadia’s entry for this 11th grade fair. With his abilities, he has earned the right to criticize others, calling Snap’s Spectacles “strictly a video camera.” He also doesn’t hesitate to point out that Google Glass had a flawed screen.
The teen has had his smart glasses promoted on Reddit
, Arduino’s blog
, and YouTube
. What made him pick smart glasses to build? Kapadia says, “I’ve always found them interesting, but I never really saw a concept that was very intriguing until I saw The Avengers. That’s when I saw the all-in-one glasses that could literally do everything … From there on, I knew I had to take all my experience and try and build it into one well-functioning, very advanced product.”
Because the teen genius used “Transparent Organic Light Emitting Diodes” for the display, his creation is the world’s first TOLED glasses. He used a pre-fabricated screen and a transparent display from SparkFun Electronics. Two tinted lenses were included so that Kapadia could flip them up and down allowing the device to be used at any time of day. Bluetooth connects the device to his app and a lithium-polymer battery keeps the lights on. The whole project cost a little bit over $200 to build.
The teen has been testing his glasses and says that he can envision them being used by doctors or construction workers so that they can read directions on the glasses leaving their hands free to work with. He hopes to patent the device and says, “These glasses, they replace [my] smartwatch and almost replace my phone. So now I’m able to keep the phone in my pocket as I’m running, to see if I got a text or a call from my mom, or even if I wanted to see the news.”
Maybe some tech firm working on smart glasses should sit down with this young man and see if he can bring something constructive to the table.