Wearables are still in their infancy, but that’s not stopping companies from announcing and releasing them! The next to take a crack at the hearts, minds, and eyeballs of consumers is Sony, who today announced their entry into the smart glasses market. Sony’s SmartEyeglass differentiates itself by using a transparent lens display that does not obstruct a user’s vision, opting instead to overlay instructions on the lenses themselves. Keep reading for more information direct from Sony.
From Sony’s Press Release:
SmartEyeglass is equipped with a diverse range of sensing technologies, including a CMOS image sensor, accelerometer, Gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor, and microphone. SmartEyeglass utilizes these features, together with GPS location information from the connected smartphone, to provide information optimized to the user’s current circumstances. Sony has leveraged its unique hologram optics technology to develop a lens that achieves high transparency of 85% and thickness of just 3.0 mm, without the use of half mirrors that obstruct the user’s vision. Furthermore, the monochrome display ensures that while energy consumption is lower than a color display, high luminance (up to 1,000 cd/m2) is achieved, to deliver a screen with clear readability that allows the user to easily read text in a wide range of environments.
The exchange of various types of data such as sensing information between SmartEyeglass and a wirelessly-connected smartphone, mean that depending on the smartphone application the device has the potential to be used in a wide range of usage scenarios. SmartEyeglass realizes even more convenient and enjoyable lifestyles for users by enabling them to obtain information hands-free, without the need to look away. For example, users will be able to view navigation information while walking, check a recipe while cooking without taking their eyes from their hands, or view information related to a certain player while watching a sports game in a stadium.
As a first attempt, the SmartEyeglasses look to have decent functionality. They still appear to be a bit bulky, and the decision to tether the battery and touch sensor off of the device is an interesting one. Using a transparent display that overlays directly onto the lenses is definitely preferable to something like Google Glass that obscures your vision, but Glass does have the benefit of having a smaller and more tightly integrated package. The monochrome display will also help with battery life in the early models.
What do you think of Sony’s SmartEyeglasses? Let us know in the comments, or on your favorite social network.