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Once the realm of science fiction movies, computer technology has moved to glasses, and multiple companies are making plans for this emerging mobile peripheral wireless market. The first smart glasses are projected to be available in the summer to fall of 2012 with other companies potentially releasing their versions by the end of 2012. Smart glasses will incorporate a bright high-definition display, adjustable for outdoor use on the glass lens so that the images appear as if they were in the exterior world. They will also have Internet connectivity and multiple new applications. Some of the displayed images will have a holographic quality to them, depending upon the smart glass manufacturer, making the image appear as if it were real and in front of the smart glasses wearer.
Wireless Connection and Functionality
Plans include an Internet connection that will allow you to browse online content or watch videos right on your glass lens. The idea is that you will still be able to perceive what is ahead of you while you are wearing the glasses. Some plans for the glasses include built-in cameras, facial recognition software, GPS and more. Some smart glasses will connect via your laptop, tablet, smart phone or other source, and incorporate the information needed directly into your view. Others plan wireless bluetooth connectivity. Applications for use on these phones are already underway, some of which include reminders of people you’ve met using facial recognition software connected to a database.
Companies already working on this emerging mobile application include Google, Apple, Vuzix and more. Smart glasses will be Internet-ready, provide multiple camera options and create augmented and virtual realities, whether watching a movie, getting directions or playing a game. Vuzix, a leader in video eyewear technology, has plans for a fall release of a single lens version with multiple lens versions following months later. Vuzix plans commercial, industrial and consumer applications for its smart glasses. Vuzix will use the licensed Nokia Internet Protocol platform for wireless deliverability.
Some smart glasses versions include head-tracking support as well as earpieces attached to the lens, and may have voice-activated action request functionality. At this point, smart glasses look like sunglasses similar to the ones worn in the movie “Terminator” by Arnold Schwarzenegger. While the Vuzix Corporation currently offers multiple augmented reality glasses and applications for the military and medical fields, including night vision glasses and more, rumors abound that Google has plans for a late year release of smart glasses as well.
The Google version, according to a “New York Times” report, is based upon the Android platform and has a heads-up display (HUD). HUD allows users to view the information on a transparent lens without looking away from a standard viewpoint, such as through a pair of glasses. Google’s smart glasses are reported to include a non-transparent screen in one of the glass lenses, a camera capable of recording video and navigation controls of the HUD interface by the use of head tilts through a motion sensor. The Google version is also reported to be voice-activated and provide vocal responses. Rumored to be the next big paradigm shift in Internet and wireless applications, smart glasses are just the beginning of what proposes to be an all-out plunge into multiple mobile peripherals beyond smart phones, tablets and laptops in the coming years.