Why 2014 is the 'year of smart glasses'
A company called GlassUp makes $299 glasses that show you, in their Google-like glasses headset via Bluetooth, what's displayed on your smartphone screen. Conceptually, it's just like a Bluetooth earpiece, but for your eye instead of your ear. GlassUp intends to release apps, and has already released an SKD, but these will be smartphone apps that optimize the experience of using a phone while looking at it through the GlassUp glasses. The biggest difference with Google Glass is that GlassUP has no camera, so it will be spared criticism for invading privacy. It's supposed to go on sale in February.
Meta believes that smart glasses can replace smartphones and even laptops in the future. They make glasses that are not only "augmented reality" -- a screen superimposed onto the natural field of view like most smart glasses -- but in 3D via two 1280 x 720-pixel LCD displays, creating the illusion of a hologram. The Meta 1 glasses also have two cameras for capturing 3D images and enabling Kinect-like in-air gestures, and stereo sound. They also have far more powerful electronics (Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM in an included pocket computer which is connected by a physical cable) which enables processing on the headset, rather than relying on a smartphone. They have a powerful price, too: $3,000. Meta 1 glasses are expected to ship to developers only in February, then to the public in June. The company also hopes to have up to 300 apps available by launch.
Sunglasses maker Oakley is also getting into the smart glasses game. Their $649 Airwave 1.5 product is optimized for use on the slopes while snowboarding or skiing. It gives route maps and current speed, and the battery is designed to withstand the cold. In fact, they're really ski goggles. On the plus side, they're also shipping.
A company called Optinvent makes Android-based glasses the company claims give you a larger and brighter screen than Google Glass does. The sub-$1,000 product ships to developers in January with a $300 consumer version coming next summer, according to the company. The ORA-S has a comparable list of features to Glass, including support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a microphone, a speaker and a front-facing camera. One cool feature is something called "Flip-Vu," which enables you to position the display above, below or in the middle of your field of view -- or flip up the glass so everyone can see you're not using it.
ION Glasses are crowd-funded glasses that look like ordinary sunglasses ($99) or prescription glasses ($79 for the frame), but have a blinking light in your peripheral vision and sound to alert you to incoming messages or other events on your smartphone. You can program it with colors so that, for example, a blue light means a Facebook message and a red one means a Google+ notification. It also lets you control a PowerPoint presentation, and will alert you if your smartphone is out of range. The company expects to ship in February.
Android-based Recon Jet glasses are expected in September but the company will take your $599 now. Unlike Google Glass, Recon shows you the screen at the bottom of your vision. It's got an HD video camera and microphone and pairs with your smartphone. Recon Jet is optimized for sports, and an early app tracks speed and other data useful for athletics. The company offers an SDK for developers.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more