The hyperbolic excitement of Google’s ‘Project Glass’ announcement barely seems to have died down, but Sony, amongst many other top digital entertainment and eyewear brands are developing plans for their own Augmented Reality specs currently named ‘Sony’s Optical Communication Display Glasses’, in an attempt to topple the search engine giant’s potential dominance of the market.
How Would Sony’s Specs Differ?
The hi-tech eyewear system Sony have patented bears much aesthetic resemblance to videos and images of rival Google’s early development for AR specs, but Sony hope several key differences will help set their glasses apart from Google’s offering.
The key unique selling point of Sony’s specs appears to be the ability to share information with other wearers simply by looking at them. The process works in a similar way to current mobile phone apps which can transmit information such as a personal phone number wireless simply by placing them together, eliminating the need for clumsy manual input and a testing ring to make sure you’ve exchanged the correct details with someone you’ve recently met.
The system would clearly have to be implemented to ensure it wasn’t possible to exchange information unless the intended recipient was clearly in view, to avoid any potential impact on privacy arising from unwittingly giving your details to several people in the bar you were last in, but the technology in theory could make social interaction that much more seamless.
If the ‘staring and sharing’ functionality sounds a little too awkward, then the Sony glasses are more likely to come in handy when responding to visual cues on many items in the world around us, such as posters and a variety of products, in turn freeing up the possibility for companies wishing to explore a new dimension in contemporary advertising.
Much like Google’s AR prototypes, a built-in camera and transparent display provides a HUD based real-time view of the world around us, with an added light emitter for syncing to specialized wrist watches or other forms of optical display such as PDA’s or video games devices, opening up a wealth of future connectivity possibilities for enhancing the wearer’s interaction with the surrounding environment, whether for work or play. A microphone and speakers would also be integrated into the headset for spoken interaction with the AR glasses, much in the guise of Google’s eyewear.
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Sony will hope that the differing features on their potential device are enough to sway consumers still clamouring for more from Google’s headquarters about ‘Project Glass’, with 2013 set to be an exciting year for the future tech eyewear market. It will be interesting to determine whether the shelf life of current smartphones will diminish in light of these developments potentially allowing for more intuitive interaction with the world than a handheld device could ever offer