MetaPro AR glasses

metapro_1-580x322Shipping next June, the MetaPro glasses offer a significantly more immersive experience than Google Glass, but at a much higher cost…$3,000.   You’ll wear a small computer to wirelessly communicate with the glasses, which can display full 720p HD in a 40 degree field of view.  Potential applications for this all come down to software, which is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario.  Nevertheless, with more products like this emerging onto the markets, I expect the software side of things to pick up pace in 2014.  Meta claims their app store has 500+ apps, which is a great start even if you’re pessimistic and expect most of those to be junk.

The one drawback?  It has built in cameras.  I think people are still going to be uncomfortable around others who are wearing glasses that may or may not be recording everything you say.

Read more over at SlashGear or check out Meta’s homepage to preorder.

GlassUP HUD

glassup_hands-on_6-580x368Shipping in 2013 for $399 are these heads-up display glasses from GlassUp, which project a 320×240 pixel monochromatic image onto the right lens, enough for basic text and graphics.  It basically acts as a remote display for your smartphone (via a wireless bluetooth connection).  It’s a different sort of use than the Google Glasses, which had a corner mounted display and built in camera.  Battery life is a bit of an uncertainty, as these will be more suited to occasional, not constant use.  Pop up notices when you get an SMS message, for example.

(via Slashgear)

Oakley smart glasses

It’s pretty much a given that the first wave of augmented reality applications will not be through smartphones’ interfaces, but through glasses that have information overlaid on the display (such as the Google Glasses rumored for release later in 2012).  So, it should come as no surprise that Oakley has been working on this since the late 90s, according to their CEO.  It just goes to show that this really is cutting edge technology…it’s no small feat, though Oakley has made incremental steps in this direction first with their ‘Thump’ glasses that also had an MP3 music player, and also with bluetooth-capable glasses that would stream music from your iPod.  It’s similar to the Apple product design philosophy of slowing incorporating features into your products to learn from that, eventually merging into one awesome product that’s light years ahead of the competition.  A newly awarded patent shows that Oakley is indeed working on adding video capability to their glasses.  They’ve got the bluetooth link worked out.  Battery technology has been a continual learning area for them.  I’d say they’re poised to be a leader in AR glasses soon, though ultimately the hardware will not be what makes or breaks a company…it’s all about the software when it comes to AR.  If they release an API that provides for an easy link between the glasses and smartphones (since they’re the most ubiquitous portable computers), they could have a hit here.

There’s a bit more on this over at Techcrunch , also at Bloomberg, if you’re interested.

Transcendenz Augmented Reality

I’ve always felt that Augmented Reality (AR) will transform what it’s like to experience the world, but after watching this video about Transcendenz, I find my perspective and vision of AR transformed.

Watching this, I realize that AR has even more potential than I suspected.  This technology, if used fully, has the potential to really change what it means to be a person.  What does that mean for the future?  Will we have ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’? An augmented class of citizen?  But more importantly…with some many directions this technology can be used, who will control it?  That’s the scary part…

Google AR Glasses

The web is abuzz lately with rumors that Google is not only developing augmented reality glasses, but that they’ll actually be for sale later this year!  Features are expected to include a camera and small display (obviously), though also a cellular data connection and multiple sensors (including GPS), for under $1k (closer to $500-600 is more likely).  Information will supposedly be displayed in an augmented reality sort of view, overlaid into the wearer’s field of view, rather than be shown on a separate display off to the side.  So at this point, it’s all just a bunch of rumors but one things for certain, AR is advanced at a fast pace and once the display technologies have reached a consumer level, expect a flood of apps to surface.