News & Reviews: Google Glass
Last Updated: Aug 19, 2016
Augmented Reality (AR) is fast gaining traction again, thanks to the popularity of games such as Pokemon Go. However for more serious application, everyone remembers the Google Glass from Redmond. The current generation of Google Glass currently uses a proprietary rechargeable battery, but a new patent from Google may change things a bit – they are proposing the next Google Glass to be powered by AAA batteries.
Last Updated: Feb 25, 2014
After seeing a whole lot of other smartglasses, we're quite interested to see what another big brand company would come up with asides from Google which is what Sony has done with it's SmartEyeglass concept. Still very much in the prototype stage, the concept consists of a pair of glasses attached by wire to a handheld computer which also houses the controls. Rather than have a tiny crystal display like Google Glass, the SmartEyeglass uses a Binocular see-through eyewear display so you have a more comfortable Augmented Reality feel to it.
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2014
While the Google Glass and other smartglasses offer a good amount of functionality but certainly look rather geeky. Going the way of the fashion conscious tech head the Icis smart glasses are still at prototype stage and are being built by a company called Laforge (yes, from Star Trek: The Next Generation). The Icis smartglasses will look like normal glasses but offer functions similar to other Bluetooth companion wearables for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices. Tech specs so far include a 1GHz Sitara processor, 512MB RAM and a Linux based operating system, although the final product could have 1GB of RAM, 720p video recording and other features. The team are looking to get $80000 (RM264280) by next month with an Icis BOLD kit costing $620 (RM2048) to be delivered in January 2015. There are other options which you can check at the Icis Indiegogo Crowd-funding site. Check out the video in this article for a better idea of the Icis smartglasses.
Last Updated: Jan 28, 2014
A Korean report recently quoted a Samsung spokesperson who hinted that we may soon see a pair of Samsung smartglasses, ahead of the consumer version of Google Glass, which has already come out for developers and first-time adopters. According to the report, we could see the still-unnamed Samsung smartglasses at the latest IFA which should be happening around September 2014. The report says that the Samsung Smartglasses will have the same functions as the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, although we hope it won't have the same crippling battery life and compatibility limitations. Below is the exact quote from the report:
It will be interesting to see which companies get better stakes in the race for smart glasses. Players definitely want to enjoy a ‘first-mover’ advantage in this new and highly lucrative market [...]
Wearable devices can’t generate profits immediately. Steady releases of devices are showing our firm commitment as a leader in new markets …
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2014
While the Google Glass smart glasses started the whole trend, it seems that Google is again thinking ahead of the rest. A Google blog revealed details about smart contacts which will track the glucose levels inside your tears. LED lights embedded into the contacts will activate when the glucose reaches a certain level. According to Google they've already made prototypes that take readings every second and have gone through some clinical trials. Google intends to go even further than just tracking glucose levels which you can see in the video below. No news yet on when exactly we might see a pair of smart contacts but with working prototypes already in the works it should be soon.
Last Updated: Dec 18, 2013
Current smartglasses like Google Glass offer an overlay version of Augmented Reality through an overlapping crystal display but it still is very far off from the computers in Minority Report and Ironman. Taking it a huge step further than all the other smartglasses is the Meta Pro which isn't just sleek and stylish, but also offers a full Augmented Reality platform beamed from a pocket computer. Instead of an overlapping crystal display, the Meta Pro glasses are the display with more than 15x the area than Google Glass. Coupled together with the Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM pocket computer, the entire Meta Pro system tracks your fingers and lets you interact with the Meta Augmented Reality platform. Currently available at $3000 (RM9772) and shipping in June 2014, the company making the Meta Pro already have a number of apps in the works with a developer's kit rolling out soon. Check out the video in this article or go to the Space Glasses site for more very cool information.
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2013
While the Google Glass smartglasses may have started it all, other smartglasses makers are soon catching up as a company called Vuzix has come out with their own M100 smartglasses. Rather than go for a pair glasses with a built-in display and smartphone tech, the M100 is more like a longer and larger Bluetooth headset attached to a headband. Tech specs for the M100 are certainly impressive as it includes a 1GHZ OMAP4430 processor, 1GB RAM, Android ICS, 4GB storage, 32GB microSD support, 600 mAh battery, 5MP camera and WQVGA display. According to Vuzix, the M100 is basically a smartphone in wearable form, and since it isn't attached to a pair of glasses you can switch it between the right or left eye. Originally designed for industrial and enterprise use the Vuzix is available for preorder from $1000 (RM3218). Check out the Vuzix site for more information and their other smartglasses.
Last Updated: Oct 30, 2013
We've all seen quite a number of smartglasses coming after the Google Glass design, but few have gone beyond the standard Augmented Reality it offers to full Virtual Reality (VR). Granted, there are some VR headware like the Occulus Rift already in the market but the i-Air Touch seems to be the first VR smartglasses around. According to designers, this is to allow users to interact in a virtual environment, letting you type in the air and do Minority Report computer-like things minus said computer. The prototype i-Air Touch is already good enough to allow you to touch and interact with projected images. This is done through the use of cameras located on the i-Air Touch smartglasses which track hand movements so you don't need to wear any special Minority report gloves or handwear either. The prototype i-Air Touch comes courtesy of Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute but while it is currently more of a research project than actual consumer device, it marks the beginning of a different form of computing entirely. In related news, Google Glass is rumoured to be coming out with their consumer level Google Glass device. No pricing or Malaysia release dates though.
Last Updated: Oct 25, 2013
Samsung may soon come out with their own pair of smartglasses as they were recently found registering a new design patent for a pair. While it doesn't seems to have a name apart from being called "sports glasses" the patent seems to follow the general Google Glass design with a crystal display overlaying a sort of visor. This would probably not fit most prescription sunglasses but they would go well with most sports activities. Other tech specs and features include integrated earphones, a hands-free headset for answering calls, the ability to display notifications and a now standard pairing through a nearby smartphone. The glasses will connect through micro USB which sounds much better than Samsung's other wearable device but we hope there is at least WiFi this time. No news on Malaysia release dates or pricing but we will keep you posted on this.
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2013
Having the ability to see like a cyborg seems to be all the rage as Google Glass and other smart glasses continue to emerge. Going for a similar concept of Augmented Reality (AR) overlay but this time with ski goggles is the Oakley Airwave 1.5. It isn't the first in the series as this new update offers many improvements over the original. This includes a better 1.0GHz dual-core OMAP 4 ARM Cortex A9 processor, 1GB and 2GB RAM options and built-in WiFi and GPS. According to Oakley, the new additions help to increase smoothness and extend battery life to 5 to 6 hours despite the battery being the same 1200 mAh. Since it is a ski goggle, it lets you check altitude speed, airtime, jump distance, jump height and vertical descent data while skiing. But with the new improvements users can now check Facebook messages and access smartphone music playlists. The Oakley Airwave 1.5 is priced at $650 (RM2076) and while we don't have any ski jumps here, similar sports like skateboarding or other extreme sports could probably see some use in it's capabilities.