At CES 2015, Sony presented two interesting new entries in the Augmented Reality wearable devices market: Sony SmartEyeglass and SmartEyeglass Attach.
SmartEyeglass is Sony’s answer to Google Glass: a pair of glasses as in the case of the Cupertino company, but with some significant differences. The first difference is clear: while Google Glass are not catching the eye at first gaze, Sony SmartEyeglass have thick frames resembling ski goggles; consequently, they are not particularly discreet. In addition, SmartEyeglass have to be worn with a disk pinned to clothes: this is the battery and the remote for the glasses, so the user doesn’t have to vocally communicate with the Android system. This is a pro because the user will not have to say in public what he is going to do, but also creates a privacy issue: the people interacting with him will never be sure if they are being captured on screen. Last but not least, there’s a big difference in the display: while Google Glass have a delimited view on a side of a lens, SmartEyeglass have a display integrated in the lens and monochromatic, with layered vivid green written information. Even in this case there are pros and cons: the focus of the layered elements on Sony’s product will be easier, but the view will be mostly occupied with data. To make an idea of how this device works, watch the presentation video:
Another product presented by the japanese company, maybe even more interesting, is Sony SmartEyeglass Attach: it’s a little device that can be attached at the side of our glasses and sunglasses to turn them into head-mounted displays. As for Google Glass, SmartEyeglass Attach creates in front of one of your eyes a discreet display that can be easily ignored until required. The battery in this case is inside the little device, so it doesn’t have to be pinned to clothes as we seen for SmartEyeglass. At CES, the SmartEyeglass Attach was already on the Sony glasses, so it was not possible to try it and be sure of the ease of the attachment on the glasses, but the device seems to be very light and easy to use.
While Sony SmartEyeglass Attach doesn’t have a release date yet, the Developer Edition of Sony’s SmartEyeglasses first seen at CES 2015 are now available to pre-order from Sony for £540 plus VAT (circa 670 euro).