At the moment, the smartglasses market has only one offering, Google Glass, but it may become pretty crowded in a year or two. Not long ago, In July, we told you about an upcoming rival for Google Glass, named Recon Jet, which was unveiled by Recon Instruments last year, just a day before the 2013 edition of the Google I/O conference. The Recon Jet is aimed mainly at sports and other outdoor activities such as mountain hiking, cycling and even extreme sports, and is set to be released this month, in less than a week from now, on September 25th 2014. Besides the Recon Jet, Samsung also announced that it is working on a similar device to Google Glass. While this doesn’t amount to a crowded market, more and more companies are developing smartglasses or devices similar to Google Glass, the latest company to do so being Sony.
As we mentioned at the moment Google Glass doesn’t have a rival, but Samsung, Recon Instruments and lately Sony are all working on similar devices that aim to be just as good (or even better if we are to believe them) as Google Glass. Sony released the concept for its Glass rival named SmartEyeglass, earlier this year, on February 24th at CES 2014, aiming to bring notifications and information instantly, directly to the user’s eye. According to Sony “With the wired, hand-held controller you can navigate in the user interface and control the camera that’s integrated in the SmartEyeglass prototype. With a binocular see-through eyewear display, the SmartEyeglass prototype presents information at a distance from your eyes, which gives a comfortable viewing experience.”
The SmartEyeglass prototype comes with a wide range of sensors, as well as a monochrome display unlike Google Glass’ color display. The SmartEyeglass also features a 3 MP camera and a wired hand-held controller that can be used to navigate the device’s user interface and use the camera. A list with the specs and features of Sony’s SmartEyeglass can be found below:
- Binocular see-trough eyewear display.
- Monochrome green colour.
- Maximum display brightness: 1000cd/m2.
- Embedded camera.
- Accelerometer, gyro, compass and brightness sensors.
- Bluetooth v3.0.
- WiFi – 802.11b/g/n.
- Separate controller with touchpad along with power, navigation and camera buttons.
Today Sony has released the SDK (software development kit) for its SmartEyeglass project. The newly released SDK will enable devs to build apps for the SmartEyeglass platform. Hiroshi Mukawa, Head of the SmartEyeglass Project, Sony Corporation, said: “This is about going beyond hardware [...] Our thinking is to match external creativity with in-house innovation to truly stretch the capability of the products we create – releasing the SDK early means that both our industry’s most established and up-and-coming developers will help shape what SmartEyeglass is capable of.” Sony partners for the SmartEyeglass project have already developed apps, such as a pedestrian navigation app from Zenrin Datacom.
With the release of the SDK for its SmartWyeglass project, Sony hopes more devs will adhere to its platform which will enable the Asian company to form a powerful ecosystem around SmartEyeglass. The wearable device from Sony requires an Android based smartphone as its apps will be run from the smartphone. The interaction between the Android based smartphone and SmartEyeglass is done via Bluetooth and WiFi. With the release of the SDK, Sony’s SmartEyeglass leaves the prototype stage and it ready for a public release by March next year. 2015 will be a very interesting year as Google Glass will have two other rivals – the Recon Jet (which will be released this month) and Sony’s SmartEyeglass which will be released early nest year.