Up until now, people associated augmented reality glasses with a visual display, just like the one used by Google Glasses. But not anymore. At SXSW, Bose unveiled a working prototype of their glasses that are “glasses to hear,” detailed CNET.
These glasses don’t project a visual overlay of information but instead speaks to you. It utilizes sensors and GPS location from smartphones via Bluetooth. This allows the glasses to provide descriptive information about the landmarks that you are looking at, according to USA Today. Since the glasses are compatible with Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, it offers many features.
The nine-axis IMU sensor is a sophisticated technology that can pinpoint the exact direction that you are facing, details Engadget. For example, it knows which restaurant you are looking at as you walk down the street. If you double tap the glasses, it provides information about the business.
In addition, the head sensor makes it possible to use head motions to control features. For instance, someone could nod “yes” to play a song in a playlist or nod “no” to stop the song. This offers hands-free operation.
On their website, Bose says the glasses “function and look like standard eye wear, but sound and function more like Bose headphones.” They suggest the glasses could provide real-time language translations and information about landmarks.
The technology is also meant to be translatable to other products. Bose suggests the same “wafer-think acoustics package” could work in helmets and headphones. And although the glasses have yet been mass-produced, Bose is already offering $50 million for “apps, services or technologies for the Bose AR platform.”
The innovation and inventions that could come from this pool of start-up money could help the Bose glasses evolve into a consumer-friendly gadget. The company has also partnered up with TripAdvisor, Strava, and TuneIn among others.
At this time, Bose has not detailed information about a potential release date for consumers, and the cost is also unknown.
Meanwhile, the Google Glass, which did not do well in the consumer markets upon its release in 2013, continues to find new niche markets. Forbes describes autistic kids benefiting from “assisted-reality apps” to help them navigate everyday life.
Also, large Fortune 500 companies like Boeing and GE Aviation provide Google Glass to its engineers, and surgeons use them in the operating room, according to TechRadar.