Sony has revealed the latest version of its SmartEyeglass concept smart eyewear, and this model could solve one of the biggest problems with Google Glass – what to do when you really like your own glasses. Sony’s solution is to make its smart eyewear clip on to your existing specs, whether they’re prescription or regular sunglasses, without the need for special frames. Not only does this solve any fashion problems, but also when you’re finished using them, or want to remove them when driving or in a meeting, you don’t have to have a second pair of spectacles on hand.
The system, which Sony is calling a Single-Lens Display Module, attaches to the arms of a pair of glasses, and is supported by a band around the back of the wearer’s head. One one side is the primary unit, which contains the processor, sensors, and other hardware, and on the other is the battery pack. The primary module is connected to a small screen which extends out in front of the eye, just like Google Glass.
Sony has chosen an OLED microdisplay for its smart eyewear. Measuring a tiny 0.23 inches, it still manages a 640 x 400 pixel resolution, and is the equivalent of viewing a 16-inch display at a distance of two meters. Sony has worked hard to improve the display quality, saying the image will remain visible regardless of lighting conditions, and show deep blacks and rich colors. The quoted contrast ratio is 10,000:1.
The primary module weighs 22 grams, and connects using Bluetooth 3.0 or Wi-Fi. Although it’s not mentioned in the specs, it looks like the unit has a camera lens. Sony has placed the 400mAh battery in another module, which is mounted on the other arm to counterweight the setup. In total, the package will add 40 grams to your glasses. In comparison, Google Glass weighs around the same when attached to Google’s prescription frames.
Ideal for sports
Sony envisages its smart eyewear being used in sports, such as evaluating form in tennis or a golf swing, or for work purposes when a hands-free device can help increase productivity. It’s producing a software development kit for developers to create apps to increase functionality, and also plans to expand the connectivity, so it’ll link up with devices other than smartphones.
The Single-Lens Display Module isn’t a final product just yet, but Sony wants to have it in production by the end of 2015. We won’t have to wait very long to hear more about it though, and the company will give the device its first public outing at CES in January. It’s calling the concept the SmartEyeglass Attach, and the demonstration will apparently be centered around sporting activities.
DigitalTrends will be at the Las Vegas show, and will bring you all the SmartEyeglass news as it’s revealed.