Sony working on Google Glass competitor, releases SDK developer preview today

By Rich Edmonds on 19 Sep 2014 05:25 am

Sony today announced an alternative to Google Glass, called SmartEyeglass. The company is currently developing the new transparent lens eyewear that connects with compatible hardware, much like other wearables already available today. The glasses will be capable to display text, symbols and images on-screen. At first glance, however, these new Sony glasses look nothing short of awkward to wear, but looks can be deceiving.

The set of shades come packing numerous sensors, including CMOS, accelerometer, Gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor and even a microphone. Utilizing the connected smartphone with GPS, SmartEyeglass is able to provide the wearer with localized information. Sony has also been able to use optics tech to develop a lens at just 3.0mm with 85% transparency, without the requirement of extra mirrors.

Sony SmartEyeglass

The company plans to release a software development kit (SDK) for developers today to enable said folk to work on creating unique scenarios for Sony's new product. The SmartEyeglass will be placed on sale for developers by the end of 2014 with consumer units to follow suit. Would you be interested in wearing a pair? Let us know in the comments and check out the press release for more details.

Tokyo, Japan, September 19, 2014 - Sony Corporation ("Sony") today announced the development of "SmartEyeglass," transparent lens eyewear that connects with compatible smartphones* to superimpose information such as text, symbols, and images, onto the user's field of view.

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.

"SmartEyeglass" development prototype

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.

Sony plans to release a dedicated SmartEyeglass Software Development Kit (Developer Preview) on September 19th to enable developers to expand upon their unique ideas for creating scenarios in which SmartEyeglass can be used, and to boost various application development.

After releasing this SDK, Sony plans to offer SmartEyeglass for sale to developers by the end of FY2014, with the intention of further promoting the development of applications and accelerating the commercialization of the product for consumer use.

Sony's SmartWear experiences draw on the combination of its sensing technologies and smartphones to enable users to log their daily activities (Lifelog), and help them bring even greater enjoyment and convenience to their lives. Going forward, Sony will continue to offer products, applications, and services that aim to enrich each user's daily activities and further proliferate the Sony SmartWear experience.

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Sony working on Google Glass competitor, releases SDK developer preview today

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