Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Rivals in Staredown With Google Glass

Vuzix M100 is a bluetooth Glass imitator that pairs with smartphone
It hasn't even hit the market yet, and still Google Glass is emerging as the market leader that all the new kids in town want to confront and take down.  A gaggle of smart glasses are due to hit stores around the same time as the consumer launch of Google's groundbreaking product, that allows users to combine the real and virtual worlds through an embedded projection in an eyeglass lens that appears to hover just in front of the wearer's face.

So far, most of the rivals are more specialized, like athlete glasses that display times and physical monitoring, or a Google Glass on steroids that has two projected images that form a 3D virtual reality including virtual keyboards in thin air. But as soon as the original hits store shelves, you can expect to see the cheaper and dumbed-down imitators to join the fray.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
New York Times

Link to article:

Excerpt: "Many of the new glasses from Google rivals will have a different look from Glass and be aimed at specialized markets, said Shane Walker, an analyst at the research firm IHS, who is preparing a report on an expected surge in smart glasses and related products.

Recon Instruments, for example, has engineered smart sunglasses designed for the tough wear and tear of triathlons and other harsh situations that may not be suitable for the more sedately styled Glass. Recon’s sunglasses, called Jet, display heart rate and other physical data, as well as step-by-step directions if cyclists become lost on the way to a race.

The double-decker SpaceGlasses from Meta have two projectors — one for each eye. (Glass has one projector.) The two projectors can create 3-D images of virtual objects like keyboards that hang like holograms in midair in front of the wearers. Then, with the help of a hand-tracking feature, wearers can type on a virtual keyboard or play virtual chess. A lot of the new glasses will have features similar to those of Google Glass, including text notification and hands-free photography.

Critics have raised concerns that computerized eyewear will become yet another technological distraction — a way for people to choose the virtual world over the real one. Such glasses also risk raising hackles in social situations. 'They won’t be the best thing to wear when you’re at a party,' said Clive Thompson, author of “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better.”

But Mr. Thompson says he thinks the coming generation of smart glasses will offer unusual benefits, too, as apps are written that let them display not just texts, e-mail and newsfeeds, but also a range of useful data alongside what people are actually viewing in the real world. Mechanics peering into a car engine to repair a carburetor, for example, might see a virtual page from a manual or a computer animation explaining which part should be adjusted, and by how much."

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