We are all familiar with the coming of the Google glasses:
Google co-founder Sergey Brin tries out Google’s new internet-connected glasses at the I/O conference in San Francisco. Photograph: Paul Sakuma/AP
At the same time competition arrives in the form of the TTP
“Developed as a prototype by TTP (The Technology Partnership), a technology development company, the glasses incorporate a tiny projector in one arm of the spectacles. The picture is then reflected from the side into the centre of the lenses, which are etched with a reflective pattern that then beams the image into the eye.
That means the image is directly incorporated into what the wearer see when looking directly ahead – unlike Google’s current incarnation of Google Glass, which puts a small video screen in the bottom right-hand corner of the right eye. That requires the wearer to look down to focus on it, taking their attention away from the view ahead.”(via The Guardian)
And then from Vusix comes the M100 smart glasses
Just as smartphones forever changed the telephone, the Vuzix smart glasses M100 redefines our interface to the ever-expanding digital world.
Vuzix smart glasses M100 is the world’s first enhanced “Hands Free” smartphone display and communications system for on-the-go data access from your Smartphone and the Internet. Running applications under the Android operating system; text, video, email, mapping, audio and all we have come to expect from smartphones is available through this wireless personal information display system. Vuzix smart glasses offer a wearable visual connection to the Cloud, through your smartphone or other compatible smart device, wherever you go.
The Vuzix smart glasses M100 includes an integrated head tracker and GPS for spacial and positional awareness and an integrated camera enables video recording and still image capture. Combined with smartphone applications and linked to the Cloud, first-person Augmented Reality will now finally be available.
According to Lumus:
Lumus enables eyewear that is natural looking, discreet, lightweight, and portable. It permits users to watch TV, read an e-mail, or glance at stock tickers without anyone else knowing they are doing this. And it provides users with information flow without obstructing their vision, so they can carry on their day uninterrupted. All these factors are the key differentiators in Lumus products, and represent the potential and opportunity to produce mainstream consumer products. Utilizing Lumus’ patented LOE (Light-guide Optical Element) technology, they eliminate all the complaints about existing personal display solutions – too heavy, too bulky, too geeky, too cheap-looking, too uncomfortable, too immersive.
LOE technology is disruptive because it shatters the perceived laws of conventional optics. It is a technological breakthrough which combines a large, high-quality image in an incomparably compact form factor, using a transparent lens.
Not to be left behind Microsoft has it’s own Project Glass cooking in the R&D labs.
It’s an augmented reality glasses/heads-up display, that should supply you with various bits of trivia while you are watching a live event, e.g. baseball game. The device was made public via Microsoft’s patent application published today.
(H\T to Unwiredview.com)
SmartGoggles are a unique architecture for smarter, better virtual reality goggles. Delivered as a ‘system on a module’, SmartGoggles technology provides consumer electronics companies with an engine for building goggles that customers will love to use.
These Smart Goggles by Sensics can immerse a person in a virtual environment, which behaves naturally when he moves his head. The goggles run the latest version of Google’s Android operating system.
They use that computing power to run games, and track hand motions and gestures using a camera, enabling a person to control a game or interact with a virtual world. (SmartGoggles.net and Technology Review)
Though not a competitor to AR glasses as such the German prototyping company Trivisio offers the Digital Platform Helmet V2.4
According to Trivisio:
“The Digital Platform is a complete portable computer, designed to wearing on the users head. In combination with a Head Mounted Display (HMD), this platform is absolutely independent from other devices. With the adjustable headband and the perfect balanced components it is very comfortable to wear and gives the user a hands-free operation. The low power consumption makes a fan unnecessary and therefore the Digital Platform is very silent.”
From Optinvent comes the Clear – Vu
according to Optinvent:
is a patented technology based on moulded plastic components allowing low cost see-through video eyewear (video glasses) applications. This technology allows ”see-through” mobile video or augmented reality applications and is 3D compatible. Clear-Vu can be adopted to the form factor of a pair of normal sun glasses or eyeglasses.”
According to Laster the Pro Mobile Display: “product is designed for professionals, and consists of a single EnhancedViewTm ocular mounted on a frame. Using it, the user can view all the displayed information relating to complex operations.
The Pro Mobile Display provides a display equivalent to a 34’’ screen viewed at a distance of 1 m and can be combined with appropriate hardware and software plug-ins for navigation, enhanced view display, or teamwork.”
(Updates thanks for the suggestions go to Marc Beuret via LinkedIn)
Some thoughts, then:
I’ll write a longer post on the consequences and implications of these augmenting technologies. However for the time being a few thoughts\questions I believe we should entertain.
Their ubiquitous manifestations notwithstanding, digital platforms are still in their infancy and yet these smart machines are already extending our minds into new realms.
These realms offer new modes of thought previously unavailable, new manners of perception not previously attainable and fresh perspectives of the world.
Wearable technologies in their different guises offer a very personal approach not only to data, information and new knowledge, but more importantly, perhaps a new kind of experience.
It is my view that these experiences, which we should pay attention to, will bring profound changes to the way our minds process ‘reality’.
In a very real sense augmented ‘reality’ machines are an extension of our minds into the world of matter via the agency of perception, infusing and at times immersing our senses with the ‘matter’ of the world.
One question pops up immediately: even if the nature of things, of the world of the universe and everything, is not, as some claim, panpsychist, aren’t we making it so via augmented reality technologies?
It might be that Joseph Campbell was more accurate than acknowledged when he stated:“There is no way you can use the word “reality” without quotation marks around it.”