Smart Eye Wear Not An Easy Road For Microsoft And Sony Either
Smart eye wear is becoming the hot cake that every company is chasing after. After Google put its Glass prototype away from the limelight, many tech companies fled to develop a similar eye piece.
Sony announced that it was building a pair of computerized glasses that will be compatible with Android, which will show users low resolution images and even text. It will also have a camera, like Google Glass does.
Industry analysts, however, believe that such competition will not affect Google in a negative way. This is because all of the companies are facing the same hurdles and challenges that Google did during Glass’ development.
“Consumer smart glasses are a completely unproven product category,” said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. “This was a possibility, far from the center of Google’s solar system. I can’t see them freaking out about this.”
Controlled through wires, Sony’s SmartEyeglass weighs 77 grams and is even connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The glasses are supposedly expected to be released for public in 2016, and the developer edition might go out as early as March, for $840. This is a smart move, as Google’s prototype was double the price of Sony’s prototype. Even then, Google managed to sell more than 10,000 pairs of its prototype for $1,500 each.
Glass has received a lot of praise along with criticism. Fashion conscious nerds whined that it was too geeky, while general outcry was voiced over the camera which could photograph or video people without their consent.
In January, Google had announced it would stop selling Glass and then closed its early tester “Explorer” program so that engineers could rethink about the product. However, the search engine giant assured everyone that it was not laying Glass to rest – it had only moved the wearable from its GoogleX research lab and placed it with a new team under Google’s name.
At the same time, Microsoft found the perfect timing to announce its computerized headset – HoloLens. But it differs from the Glass as it is the first holographic wearable, and would allow users to see high-definition holograms, using voice commands and hand gestures. HoloLens is scheduled to be launched during the Windows 10 timeframe, some time around mid-2015.
This obviously points at the fact that rivals have found this backing out of Google as the prime moment to dive into the smart gear market that Google was dominating with Glass. However, it will not be easy.
“There’s no reason to think that Sony and Microsoft will have any more success with a generalized glasses product than Google did,” Gottheil said. “No matter how pretty, cheap, and high performing, it’s still a gnat in the corner of your eye. They need to figure that out.”