Do you remember Sony SmartEyeglass? If you read our blog in last months, you already know we are talking about a new Augmented Reality headset from this article: Sony SmartEyeglass and Attach: the Developer Edition will arrive in March
They were expected to arrive on the shelves during the last month and, in fact, here they are: March 28 they started to be sold in ten countries around the world, between which Japan, Germany, Italy, UK and United States (for some of the countries you have to be a business client to have them). The price has been set to $ 840, about the price of a laptop, and to work them you’ll have to have an Android device running 4.4 KitKat or higher.
Sony vs Google
With this product, Sony outdone Google: if, on one hand, they are similar to Google Glass in the functionalities, on the other, they are a more developed product and they cost less. The price, in fact, as we said is set to $ 840, while Google Glass beta is $1500.
Sony SmartEyeglass is a good headset to start with, but we don’t have to forget this is just the Developer Edition; this means the product is still far from being perfect, and some sites that tested them said they are “unfinished”. The green text seems to cause headache for some people, many others don’t like that the battery and the remote are in the external box that have to be worn pinned to clothes.
Therefore, it’s clear that, for how much revolutionary this headset could be, a lot of work still has to be done. For now, you can decide to join Sony’s experiment to develop them.
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).