Raspberry Pi AR/Smart Glasses

A work-in-progress pair of discreet Smart glasses

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This is an ongoing electronics project where I make a pair of smart glasses. I want them to be cheap, fashionable and so good that you don’t have a reason for not wearing them.

Hi. This is a (serious) project in which I am making a pair of smart glasses.


They must be fashionable and cheap(easily under £100)

They must be useful, and so good that you never want to take them off (wishful thinking perhaps)


I have entered more detail in the log below, but I have made a working prototype and I have ordered the parts for a better prototype with an amazing 720p screen. These have come and I am now trying to make the screen work with the Raspberry Pi. 

Features (These will be added in the final version):

Google Assistant 

Suite of productivity apps

Lots of games in an incredible gaming app

Ability to use it as a computer 

Web browser

YouTube and Netflix 


An App Store 


Making the prototype, and developing the entire suite of apps to make it useful. I also have some big ideas for the kind of games I can make, perhaps in an app that you can get and play games from.

I also need to make an API to make it easy for others to program, and I need to program an App Store for anyone to develop their own apps.

Then I need to produce and sell it, which I am not sure right now how to do(although I will do it)

  • I am back making the glasses

    Jacob MacLeod11/29/2019 at 17:22 0 comments

    Hi. Let me explain why I havn't posted for over a month.

    The screen came, and I got it working with the Arduino very quickly. However, the problems came when I tried to get it working with the raspberry pi.

    After a few weeks of  finders that the drivers that I thought would work didn't, and scouring the internet for drivers. I realised that there were different models that required different drivers!

    The drivers I thought I had found were for the ST7789VW model, and I had the ST7789 model, that I could only find arduino drivers for.

    So I just waited, but nothing came of it. I was at a loss to work out where drivers I needed were, and I didn't know what to do. Then I had an idea. Instead of directly making the Raspberry Pi control the display, I could have the Raspberry Pi telling arduino to do certain things like 'display homepage' or 'display battery level'. 

    So that is what I will do. I will have the raspberry pi connected to the arduino via a I2C connection, telling the arduino what to display. 

    However, I don't know how I will be able to implemebt video watching with that method, so I'll have to work that out

  • Screen Arrived

    Jacob MacLeod10/24/2019 at 11:16 0 comments


    So I just finished the last log, where I talked about how the screen was yet to come.

    I put the phone down(I typed it on the phone instead of the computer as I couldn’t be bothered to get the computer out) and posted the log. I hear items being pushed through the letter box. I go to the door and see two packages. I open them.

    Here is a picture of what they contained:

    On the left, you can see the screen, which I had just posted a log about. On the right, you can see an adapter to program an Arduino I am using.

    Here are a few more pictures showing the size of the screen:

    So now I have the screen, I need to use it with the raspberry pi and glue it onto the glasses, as well as a few mirrors.

    Anyway, that’s all I needed to say for now, so bye!

  • Sunglasses and Mirror Arrived

    Jacob MacLeod10/24/2019 at 10:56 0 comments

    Hi. So in the last post, I said about how I have ordered the parts for the initial full prototype. The Sunglasses and the Mirror have now come, so now I need to wait for the screen, which should come on the 4th of November.

    I don’t really like the sunglasses that I ordered, as they are in a style that I am not a fan of. At some point, I will order some new glasses, but not now.

    Anyway, the next step once I have the screen is to build assemble the display system. Then I can start programming a few apps while I am waiting for the rest of the parts to arrive, like sensors and Bluetooth modules.

    I am also thinking about making it modular, so it can slip on and off your glasses easily, and so you can interchange pairs of glasses. However, am not sure how I can do that yet, though.

  • Ordered parts for prototype

    Jacob MacLeod10/15/2019 at 10:54 0 comments

    I have ordered all the parts I need for the prototype, so that will come in a week or two. Amongst others, I have ordered a 720p LCD and parts to make a wireless gesture based controller.

    And in case you were wondering, yes, these glasses will be able to run the full version of Linux.

  • Glasses Frame Designed

    Jacob MacLeod10/10/2019 at 13:02 0 comments

    Hi! This is a quick log to say that I have worked out what electronics I want in the glasses, and I have even designed a wireless controller to control the display that will be powered  by an arduino nano, or pro mini. This will then talk to the Raspberry Pi Zero W, which will control the entire thing. I want the Raspberry Pi to be a big factor in the glasses, as it could theoretically replace both desktop PCs and laptops. Because of this, you will be able to plug in an mini HDMI - HDMI adaptor, or use the display connector.

    Anyway, that's all for now, so bye!

  • Massive Progress: New Display System

    Jacob MacLeod10/04/2019 at 13:46 0 comments

    I was thinking about how to improve the display of my glasses, and I think I had found a good way. I simplified the current system, while solving the problems of the screen being had to focus on and it being blurry. They look a bit funny, but not too bad, especially if you wear a hood.

    I remembered some 'spy glasses' that I had used when I was younger that had a mirror, allowing you to see things behind you. That gave me the idea.

    Basically, the screen is at an angle on the side of the user's head so it takes up less space.  It is then reflected with reflective lens (a.k.a a mirror) into the user's eye. 

    This solution works well, if you casually look at it, it is a little blurry, but when you properly focus on it, it is 100 percent clear. 

    I did have to remove the lens of the glasses, because they were 3d glasses that did odd things screens.

    Here is a picture of the glasses without the mirror(sorry it is not in focus):

    And here is a picture of the screen (Again without the mirror)

    Finally, here is a picture of what the user sees with the mirror (it looks much better in person)

    I want to build a better prototype now and glue the mirror in place, as well as using better glasses and slightly moving the screen.

    That means I need to buy a new screen(because I have been using my brother's screen, and I need to glue it into place) and a new mirror that I can cut to shape. While I sort that out, I need to work on the input system. I'll probably start using the Raspberry Pi Zero W with it, so I can use some sort of virtual assistant, as well as a physical input system. I am already working on an HTML based virtual assistant, so I'll develop that further, but tell me if you want me to post a log of it on

    Until then though, mission accomplished!

  • New Screen

    Jacob MacLeod10/01/2019 at 09:47 0 comments

    I’m considering using a new tiny LED matrix screen that should be easier one the eyes. I have designed it on to print on, although there are a few issues my design. I’ll use their SMT assembly tool to have it come assembled, which starts at £5. The only problem is it will have 16 wires going to a shift register then to the raspberry pi (Or Arduino), so, it may not look great at first.

    I also will not be able to make it transparent, but if I put it at the corner, it won’t obstruct your view too much, which also means I can use a simpler magnifying lens design

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Punit wrote 12/01/2019 at 17:41 point

Have you found a display that has a good enough pixel density to be able to watch youtube videos yet? I think I have found one but its quite pricey. for now I bought an ips full colour lcd 80x160 and im waiting on an esp32 module to arrive so I can hopefully get the screen working

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jacob MacLeod wrote 12/01/2019 at 21:26 point

Yes, I have... I found a  240x240 screen. However, I can't get it working with the Raspberry Pi right now, so I may have an arduino responding to commands from the raspberry pi via I2C. However, although it might be able to search the web via web scraping, it can't watch youtube videos this way, which is a massive issue. 

So I need to work that out

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dan Maloney wrote 10/03/2019 at 16:57 point

Sunglasses seem like the right platform for this - more stealthy.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jacob MacLeod wrote 10/04/2019 at 13:49 point

Yes... like James Bond glasses

  Are you sure? yes | no

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