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Sony Displays Technology

Sony To Release Google Glass Competitor 76

jfruh writes: With Google retooling its Glass offering, Sony appears to have jumped into the breach to offer an Android-compatible wearable face-computer. The developer edition of SmartEyeglass will be available in March for $840, with a commercial release planned for 2016. The device must be manipulated with a separate, wired controller unit that houses a microphone, speakers and an NFC module.
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Sony To Release Google Glass Competitor

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    And ads. But you should be able to manage everything by blacking them out by a magic marker. Presto!

    • I hear it installs a rootkit in your eyes.

      • "I know! Let's compete with a non-product, technology PoC that has no proven market, PLUS a high-degree of resistance and hostility by prospective customers!"

        "That's why you're the boss, J.T. and why you make the big dollars."

  • by jrmcferren ( 935335 ) <robbie.mcferren@ ... minus physicist> on Wednesday February 18, 2015 @12:13PM (#49080101) Journal

    In Before the Jokes about UMD, Betamax, and Minidisc.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Meh. I was fooled into buying one of their Vaio flip tops, which looked pretty cool in the store. I've been subject to such delights as

      - The machine's flagship feature, (the flip top) is incredibly fragile; it's already broken twice under what can only be described as light, occasional use
      - Shit video drivers. It crashes on wake up about 1/3 of the time. I used to put up with that from Linux (like ten years ago), but this is on the factory installed hardware/software combos.
      - Wi

    • If only we had the Betamax Sony instead of the Sony we've had since the 90s. You must've wanted us to come out from under our 1/2" rocks.
    • How about Walkman?

      And now I'm not joking... that device was as big a cultural shift as the smartphone.

      Why not reuse the name? It's their IP.

      It shows an introspective, penitent, and confident Sony looking into its past to claim its future.

      The ad campaign could feature Blade Runner-esque and William Gibson style "jacking in" and all that great early 1980s cyberpunk culture.

  • Making same mistakes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2015 @12:21PM (#49080157) Homepage
    They put the annoying camera on it. Bad idea, people hate that. It should be on the separate controller, so people will always know when you are photographing them rather than suspect it. At least it appears to be 3d, using two projectors.
    • The exclusivity is what really turned people off about it, not the "privacy" concerns that came up.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You need a camera to identify what the user is looking at! Image recognition is sort key for any form of useful augmented reality. Otherwise you are just showing notifications from your phone and a stupid floating HUD.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It should be on the separate controller, so people will always know when you are photographing them rather than suspect it.

      There's something I don't understand about these people's strategy: why aren't they suspecting it when they don't see any weird glasses?

      I wear a hat (and still this time of year, a jacket) when I'm out on the street, or when I'm in a bar, or in other places where your shapely-assed wife might be walking away from me. Nobody ever spontaneously punches me without provocation. I could ver

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        So WTF is the deal with singling out the conspicuously worn cameras?

        It might have something to do with privacy laws that apply stricter scrutiny to pictures from hidden cameras.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      So I see you, hear you and remember what you said and did and that is OK but I can prove it, is not. What are you really trying to say, you want to reserve the very questionable right to lie?

      Smart glasses are really all about leaving that smart phone in your pocket, not having to take it out, of it being far more functional with vastly improved screen real estate.

      When it comes to advertising wonks of course the idea is not to jam in ads just anywhere in view space, that will get banned in short order,

    • Bad idea, people hate that.

      No. Vocal slashdot users hate that. The vast majority of people seem to be either intrigued by the concept, or campaigning against it to generate free newspaper advertising (i.e. Australian bar which made the news after it advertised that Google Glass is not permitted despite as far as I can tell no Glass products ever making it into this country, or cinemas banning it because of "privacy" despite it not having the battery life to live through a feature length recording session.).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    > The Internet-connected SmartEyeglass

    Just the brand to trust with not just the wearer's privacy, but of everyone's in vicinity. What could go wrong?

  • by monkeyzoo ( 3985097 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2015 @12:23PM (#49080189)

    So Sony added a wired controller?! Because, yeah, nothing is sexier than wearing something on your head with wires coming off it.

    • So Sony added a wired controller?! Because, yeah, nothing is sexier than wearing something on your head with wires coming off it.

      First thing I was thinking of too. Not sure which technical decade Sony was thrown back into recently, but they kind of missed the mark here with wireless NFC technology paired with a wired "remote".

    • The issue I have with the design, isn't the wire, but the fact the frames are so huge and obvious.
      If we were to have normal looking glasses, with a low profile wire, that went to a bulker piece of electronics it wouldn't be so bad. You can have that wire hidden by your ear and hairline.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The biggest problem I have with the design, is the whole stupid idea that you buy it at some retail outlet. Let's get some far more realistic custom design fitting and make sure that each pair specifically suits that individual user, even the frame, let alone the lenses. The only place the glasses should be sold is at an optometrist and they should be properly fitted and adjusted to that specific user, otherwise problems will result with any real extended use.

    • Where do you think the battery is?
    • I bet it's going to be a PS4 controller.
    • Because, yeah, nothing is sexier than wearing something on your head with wires coming off it.

      I know, right? When I first saw the girl in this photo [] I thought, I'd totally hook up with her. Then I saw that wire coming off of her headphones...

      Well, that and my wife and that I'm probably older than her father. But that wire was definitely the deciding factor for me.

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2015 @12:28PM (#49080225) Homepage Journal

    They are competing against a product that essentially never made it out of public beta?

    Maybe they will actually win this time.

    Maybe not.

    • by thebes ( 663586 )

      Google's plan to "force" companies to waste R&D resources? Last one with money in the bank wins!

    • To be fair, nothing from Google ever makes it out of public beta.

    • Perhaps Japan would tolerate it. I don't really have any idea how far they've moved towards total surveillance, but I'd be shocked if their cities weren't packed full of clever cameras.

      Sony has made a lot of stuff they have little intention of selling outside of Japan.

      There are fairly compelling business uses for something like glass. Many of them require a camera. I don't think they think they're going to sell a lot of these.

    • Sony's product will be just like Google's except more shit.
  • ... Sony has a chance to beat Google! They only need to sell one to a genuine non-developer customer!
  • The last time I worked on a brand new Sony laptop, it was clear that Sony considered the laptop to be nothing more than a delivery vehicle for it's entertainment products. There was so much Sony crapware on the machine that, out of the box, it wasn't even usable until I uninstalled the majority of the junk.

    I anticipate that Sony will force you to watch a movie trailer every time you turn it on, and won't let you use it until you've watched the whole thing.

    • by Barny ( 103770 )

      This is the default state for all new laptops. Effectively this is their 'pre usable' mode of operation.

      • This is the default state for all new **WINDOWS ** laptops. Effectively this is their 'pre usable' mode of operation.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Proper artificial reality. Although it's in monochrome, it actually has the ability to interact with most of your field of view... That means cool things like translating the sign you're reading or actually showing you which way to go. It's basically the entire opposite of what google glass was, which was the equivalent of putting your phone on a stick and gluing it to your head.

    Even monochrome low resolution, it's a great start.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have to say...

    Every Sony product has weird connections, proprietary software and locked in usage, won't work with anything else, and makes Apple look like a BSD licensed product.

    And, of course, the cost.

    What's the point?

    Or, for once, is Sony going to make it an open platform, with standardized connectors, and cheaper than everyone else?

    • Your post is too long, let me summarize it for you:
      Fuck Sony and their overpriced shit.

      And that is my genuine opinion, it's not sarcasm.

  • The screen is projected directly on the lense: []

    This is fundamentally different than Google Glass with the eyepiece. Although the implementation is not ideal (it only projects green/yellow), it is the technology behind this design that is important. The ability to project directly on the lenses means that there are no external components that identify the wearer as any different than anyone else. Given time to shrink down and to eliminate the puck you have a device that
  • .. this was the company that sought world domination using a product named "Betamax". Pushed mini-DVD disks and mini-CD-R based cameras, pushed its memory stick relentlessly... Tried to be incompatible with the rest to lock their users in. Eventually it was able to kill Phillips' HD-DVD and got its Blue-ray to dominate the market, only to be blind sided by decidedly low-def streaming videos.

    So it is going to push weirdo glasses with cameras without the a history of "not being evil". With a wired handheld

    • This is the company that has four different screens on it's DEV-50 digital binoculars straight from the lawyer's desk (Watch what you are doing, Don't run into things, You might get dizzy, You're gonna die) that you have to click through EVERY time you use the damn things. I can't wait to see what idiot warnings these things will come with.

      And, if it's like any other Sony product aside from their cameras, they will never update the firmware, fix anything that breaks or even acknowledge that they made it on

    • by Barny ( 103770 )

      Well, they did help build the 'sue your users into oblivion' business model that became ever so popular. That counts right?

  • Might want to ask Nintendo how the Virtual Boy worked out for them.
  • google glass is no longer being sold, [] so there is literally no competition between the two.

    • Google Glass ***in its current, pre-product form*** has stopped ***being offered at an insane price to beta testers***. That is FAR from saying glass is done being sold; it just means it isn't being sold *yet*.

      Google did not spend all that money, and throw the head of Nest on the project only to stop competing in that space.

  • $840 dollars from Samsung translates roughly into $1600 from your optician.

  • motorcycle HUD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by severn2j ( 209810 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2015 @02:41PM (#49081177)
    The single reason I'm interested in this tech is as a HUD for when I'm on my motorcycle. Having a satnav displaying just above my fov would be perfect.. Does anyone know how well this works for this purpose?
  • What's the new name for someone who wears this product?
  • i think the kin lasted about 2 months. total investment by ms was 1 billion. i remember seeing the first ads (the first time i knew of it), i got a really good laugh. this thing will last about as long.
  • If Sony could also come up with a viable alternative to the Segway, they could really lock up the mall cop market.
  • Shoulda used more alliteration. #missedOpportunity

  • by DrSlinky ( 710703 ) on Wednesday February 18, 2015 @08:03PM (#49083433)
    New in 2015! Sony presents: The SeeMan!
  • In three words: Sony Beta Max also Sony Mini Disc or in just two words: Sony Reader Unless they've learnt a lesson from failures which resulted from overly defensive licensing, we'll be talking about how the Sony device was better, but no-one used it.

Remember to say hello to your bank teller.