Google Glass Smart Eyewear: The Return

Google is to sell a revamped version of its smart glasses to businesses, more than two years after the original version of the product was cancelled.

The company said Glass Enterprise Edition had improved battery life and felt more comfortable during long-term wear than before. However, it still resembles the original model, with a small see-through display and built-in camera. It will face competition from Microsoft’s HoloLens among others. Many had assumed the project had been cancelled after the executive in charge, Tony Fadell, resigned last year. However, parent company Alphabet‘s X division continued to develop the technology and has now revealed its efforts in a post on the news site Medium.

GoogleGlass

Workers in many fields, like manufacturing, logistics, field services, and healthcare find it useful to consult a wearable device for information and other resources while their hands are busy,” wrote project lead Jay Kothari.

“That’s why we’ve spent the last two years working closely with a network of more than 30 expert partners to build customised software and business solutions for Glass for people in these fields.”

Mr Koathri revealed that logistics workers at the delivery company DHL, engineers at General Electric and medics at Dignity Health had been among those secretly using the eyewear over recent months.

Wired magazine added that those involved had had to promise not to reveal the existence of Glass Enterprise Edition and pose with the old version in any photos showing them using the eyewear at work.

Improvements over the earlier Explorer Edition include:

  • a more powerful processor
  • an eight megapixel camera, up from 5MP before
  • the camera button now doubles as a way to detach the electronics from their frame, making it easier to attach them to prescription and safety glasses
  • the battery life lasts for about eight hours of typical use excluding video streaming, up from about five hours before
  • more robust wi-fi connectivity

Google sold the original prototype edition for £1,000. This time, the product will be sold via a range of specialised software companies, which are bundling it with their respective services. Germany-based Ubimax – which makes software for logistics and manufacturing workers – told the BBC it would charge about 1,500 euros ($1,735; £1,335) per unit on top of rolling fees for its own solutions.

“It makes perfect sense to target businesses,” said Chris Green from the technology consultancy Lewis. “While the original iteration of Google Glass had questionable consumer applications, we are already seeing that there is huge potential for augmented reality particularly in things like manufacturing. “For example, a floor worker can get a single view of all the sensor data across a production line, from data about output and wear and tear of components, to where the bottlenecks are, all in a way they wouldn’t be able to do just by wandering the line normally.”

But in the period Google left the market, other companies, including Vuzix, Meta and Epson, have developed their own augmented reality eyewear targeted at businesses.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/

 

Epson quantglass

The Moverio BT-300 features Epson‘s own cutting edge silicon-based OLED (organic light emitting diode) digital display technology, enabling the device to be the lightest see-through binocular smart glasses on the market, and setting the new standard for augmented reality smart eyewear. The Moverio BT-300 is approximately 20% lighter than its predecessor, the BT-200.

Epson quant glass

Epson’s focus on a wide range of commercial and other applications distinguishes the Moverio range from other smart glasses on the market. Developed with function at the forefront, the range has proved popular with business customers and independent software vendors (ISVs). The Moverio BT-300 continues Epson’s commitment to binocular smart eyewear, real optical see-through overlay, and increased performance, both essential for professional use and opens new consumer applications opportunities.

Built with a quad core Intel Atom processor and Android OS 5.1, the BT-300 has significantly increased power to enable it to process 3D heavy content, and maintains up to six hours of battery life. Seeing and making sense of the user’s environment through a 5-mega-pixel front-facing HD camera and other sensors, the smart glasses render content based on what is seen. As on previous models, and cautious of privacy standards, the device features an LED to indicate when the camera is recording.

epson bt300Mr. Atsunari Tsuda, general manager responsible for Moverio said, “Moverio is distinct from other smart glasses on the market where form often supersedes function, to the detriment of the product’s usability. Every design decision we make is driven by consideration for the product’s ultimate usage scenarios and our Si-OLED technology opens a new world for us in binocular see-through smart eyewear development. With OLED we can take advantage of reductions in power usage and weight, and improvements in response times, HD resolution, brightness and contrast. By choosing silicon rather than glass for our base wafer we achieve an even more high-density pixel display.”

Source: http://global.epson.com/

HoloLens from Microsoft

Microsoft’s innovative augmented reality headset isn’t going to arrive anytime soon, but with development kits being sent out this week, we’re one step closer to seeing the HoloLens hit stores.

apple nanocomputer iLens

At a cost of $3,000 (about £2,160) per headset, the HoloLens development edition allows developers to start making games and apps for the forthcoming headset. There’s still no word on exactly when a consumer edition will launch however. But what exactly is HoloLens? Is it an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive rival? Or does it have more in common with the discontinued Google Glass? Here’s what we know so far about one of the most intriguing and exciting tech announcements in recent years, including what the potential HoloLens release date could be.

What is HoloLens exactly?

HoloLens is essentially a holographic computer built into a headset that lets you see, hear, and interact with holograms within an environment such as a living room or an office space. Microsoft has built the headset without the need to be wirelessly connected to a PC, and has used high-definition lenses and spatial sound technology to create that immersive, interactive holographic experience. Watch the HoloLens announcement video

HoloLensSpecs

Since you have to be a developer who’s signed up to the Windows Insider programme in order to be in with a shout of owning the headset at this point, most of us will still have to wait. Despite the development edition shipping, there’s still no word on any kind of consumer release date as yet, with Microsoft’s Alex Kipman saying “broad consumer availability is further down the line.”
The HoloLens comes with semitransparent holographic lenses which ‘generate multi-dimensional full-colour holograms’. That means it’s not going to be projecting images into a room that everyone can see. It’s cutting edge stuff, but it’s not quite that advanced yet. In much the same way as Google’s ill-fated Glass experiment, the HoloLens will interject virtual elements onto your vision. That means it’s different to virtual reality headsets such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and href=”http://www.trustedreviews.com/playstation-vr-review”>Playstation VR. These VR headsets immerse you in a fully simulated world, whereas the HoloLens uses the real world as a canvas on which to overlay virtual elements.
Hololens by MicrosoftSource: https://www.microsoft.com/

Facebook Files Patent For Oculus AR Glasses

From social network to tech titan, Facebook has grown from a limited-membership website to a global phenomenon. But it isn’t stopping at online features: The company is reportedly working on a pair of smart glasses to rival Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Snapchat. A recently published patent application for a “waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner” hints at Facebook’s (and virtual reality subsidiary Oculus’s) work on a new wearable.

The display, according to the patent, “may augment views of a physical, real-world environment with computer generated elements” like images, video, and sound. Even more telling, it “may be included in an eye-wear comprising a frame and a display assembly that presents media to a user’s eyes.” That certainly sounds like a pair of smart glasses to me. Facebook in 2014 bought Oculus VR for $2 billion, promising to bring the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset into the social media fold.

facebook-oculus2-578-80

At April’s annual F8 developer conference, company chief Mark Zuckerberg detailed the firm’s future in augmented reality, highlighting a pair of AR glasses. Little is known about the device, which uses a waveguide display to project light onto the wearer’s eyes (think Microsoft HoloLens) and connects with speakers or headphones to play audio. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Don’t expect the prospective eyewear to hit shelves anytime soon: Zuck already noted that it’s “going to take a long time to make this work.” Oculus chief scientist Michael Abrash echoed that timeline, adding that augmented reality goggles won’t start replacing handsets until at least 2022. “Twenty or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we’ll wear stylish glasses,” he said at this year’s developer conference. “Those glasses will offer VR, AR, and everything in between, and we’ll use them all day.”

Magic Leap Granted Patent For New Glasses

Magic Leap‘s much-hyped augmented reality system has been an object of skepticism ever since the company was funded at a high level back in 2014. The tech world seems fairly obsessed with the possibilities, as is the company’s founders, but no one is quite sure what the ultimate product will entail. We’re a bit closer today with a newly granted patent (originally filed in 2015) for a smallish set of eyewear that could be the delivery system for Magic Leap’s AR system.

Magic Leap glass

The 10-page patent document has eight views of the AR glasses, which seem to include dual cameras on each side of the eyepieces, a long wire attached to each earpiece and some peripheral vision shields on top bottom and sides of the glasses. A Magic Leap spokesperson told Business Insider that the pictured images are not the actual product, however. “As you know, we file lots of patents that take a long time to get approved and so what you are looking at is not our product,” she said. Other sources inside the company told Business Insider that while the basic design is similar to what is being used in-house, the current hardware is bulkier to include a depth sensor between the lenses. One source said there is only one camera on each side of the specs, as well, and that they look like thicker-rimmed hipster glasses.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/

AR Glasses Is The Apple’s Next Big Thing

Google Glass may have been a resounding flop, but some analysts believe that Apple may be able to succeed where Google did not. As a quick refresher, rumor has it that Apple is interested in developing a pair of smart glasses with a strong focus on augmented reality features.

apple store

While Apple often tends futuristic products and advanced technologies that never see the light of day, a reputable report from the Financial Times not too long ago indicated that Apple wants to transition its smart glasses initiative “from a science project towards a consumer product.”

What makes Apple’s rumored interest in developing AR powered smart glasses all the more intriguing is that developers have already been churning out jaw-dropping iOS demo apps with ARKit. Originally announced at WWDC this year, ARKit provides developers with a suite tools and frameworks that allows them to create incredibly immersive augmented reality experiences. If the demos we’ve seen thus far are any indication, augmented reality may very well take over the way we interact with technology in the months and years ahead. With so much underlying potential, analyst Tony Sacconaghi believes that Apple’s rumored AR glasses could have a discerinble impact on Apple’s bottom line.

If a CEO’s comments are reflective of a company’s enthusiasm about a new opportunity, then Apple clearly thinks AR might be a big deal,” Sacconaghi said in a note obtained by Barron’s. Indeed, Cook, who is notoriously tight-lipped, has been uncharacteristically effusive whenever the topic of augmented reality is broached. In fact, Cook not too long ago went so far as to say that the impact of augmented reality may rival that of the smartphone itself.

The smartphone is for everyone,” Cook said earlier this year,we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining.”

Source: http://bgr.com/

Lenovo New Glasses

Lenovo quantglassCompared to virtual reality, augmented reality has been slow to take off. Sure, phone-based augmented reality is getting a bit of a boost right now — Apple and Google are certainly investing in it — but there’s still a dearth of commercially available headsets. Devices like HoloLensand the Meta 2 are too expensive, and while there are startups that promise more affordable models, they’re still years away from being on store shelves. Lenovo, however, has come with a solution — and it’s partnered with Disney to bring it to the masses. The caveat? It works with only one game (at least for now) and that’s Star Wars: Jedi Challenges.

lenovo-glass-c2007 months ago Lenovo unveiled  glasses for the business users, the C200. Lenovo has set its sights on the augmented reality eyewear arena, with a business customer-focused pair of smart specs it calls New Glass C200.

Google Glass may be the most well-known piece of head-mounted AR gear, but others, including Motorola and Sony, have tried their hands at it. Others have focused on specific users: the ADAMAAS aimed to help the elderly and disabled with everyday tasks, and the Golden-i headsets were designed for industry and first responders. Lenovo’s New Glass C200 seems to be targeting a similar type of commercial-use audience.

To that end, the company’s suggestions for how to use the device include collaborating with remote co-workers, snapping photos and recording video in 1080p, and following step-by-step instructions projected right in front of a user’s eye.

Source: http://newatlas.com/

US Army Adopts “Augmented Reality” Heads-up

At last week’s Pentagon Lab Day in Washington, DC, the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) and Army Research Lab demonstrated a prototype of technology straight out of first-person shooter games—an “augmented reality” heads-up display that could help soldiers tap into sensors and other data.

Called Tactical Augmented Reality (TAR), the technology is the latest evolution of the Army’s effort to network soldiers together and give them “situational awareness” on the battlefield—where they are, where their friends are, where the adversary is, and everything else they need to know for their mission, tied into tactical communications. Over the past few years, CERDEC, ARL, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have been working on the core technologies to make augmented reality work on the battlefield, including the development of a platform called the Heads Up Navigation, Tracking and Reporting (HUNTR) system.

While HUNTR is relatively recent, it is built on nearly three decades of efforts by the Army to digitally enhance the foot soldier. Up until recently, those efforts ran up hard against the limitations of wearable computing. Even as the technology finally matures, it’s probably years away from seeing service in the field.

The Army has been trying to put things in front of soldiers’ eyes since the late 1980s. First was Land Warrior (or, as it was more formally called, the Land Warrior Integrated Fighting System). Land Warrior sprung out of a technology demonstration program in 1989 called Soldier Integrated Protective Ensemble (SIPE), which showed that enhanced sensors and communications could significantly boost the combat capabilities of small infantry units.

The concepts behind Land Warrior would get tried out and refined repeatedly over the next decade, but they didn’t take shape as an actual procurement program until 2000. That’s when they became part of the Army’s massive Future Combat Systems program. When Land Warrior was officially awarded as a full-blown development program to Raytheon, its planned kit included an integrated computer system as part of a soldier’s kit, as well as a helmet-mounted display. That device served as a data display for communications and navigation, as well as a viewer for a thermal imaging sight on the soldier’s “weapons sub-system” (the M16 rifle or M4 carbine).

 

  • The Soldier Integrated Protection Ensemble (SIPE), a prototype that led to the Land Warrior program, in 1989. Note the vintage monster thermal sensor on the M16 and the enormous helmet display.
     US Army
  • The Land Warrior system in initial development trials in 2000. Note the still-bulky sensors.
  • Another iteration of Land Warrior, worn by a soldier at Fort McPherson, Georgia, in June 2001. The weight of the full kit tipped 45 pounds at its peak—and that was without a full combat suit-out.
  • Land Warrior in its 2007 version (on the soldier on the left), being tested by the Future Combat Systems Evaluation Brigade Combat Team at Oro Grande Range, Fort Bliss, Texas.
  • Land Warrior-Stryker Interoperable, a modified version of Land Warrior gear, deployed to Iraq in 2007 with the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment.
  • The Land Warrior system continued to be used by Stryker units. Here, Staff Sgt. Mark Gravsky shows his Land Warrior display during a training session involving the 4-23 Infantry Regiment of the 5th Stryker Brigade in Regensberg, a mock village at Fort Lewis, Washington, June 18, 2009.
     Peter Haley/Tacoma News Tribune/MCT via Getty Images
  • Nett Warrior, the current reboot of Land Warrior, uses an Android smart phone as a data display.
  • The Nett Warrior device display shows a map. Nett Warrior is heads-down, not heads-up.
  • The HUNTR prototype (Heads Up Navigation, Tracking, and Reporting), built under a CERDEC/DARPA joint-funded program. It uses a tethered display along with a helmet-mounted camera (on the side rail). Here, 1st Lieutenant Obinna Opara of the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment wears HUNTR during the Advanced Expeditionary Warfighting Experiment 2017 Collective Practice at Fort Benning, Georgia, in March.
     US Army
  • This slide from RDECOM explains why commercial “see-through” displays like Google Glass were insufficient for the needs of a tactical system.
  • The see-through color display of the TAR being demonstrated in May 2017 has enough bs.

The computer, integrated GPS, and radio allowed (in theory) commanders to track, in real time, where troops were. But Land Warrior didn’t exactly have a “heads-up” display, per se—it could show positions on a two-dimensional map, and it allowed soldiers to aim weapons around corners. But Land Warrior didn’t overlay information on the world around the soldier. And it also had some significant problems—the most obvious of which was the added weight required for batteries, computing power, radios, and a TV screen mounted on a soldier’s head.

Full combat gear for an infantryman is already approximately 80 pounds by itself. Land Warrior in its full implementation added 40 pounds more gear (computer plus helmet with video display, plus digital gun sights, plus radio, plus batteries) to a soldier’s load. Carrying 120 pounds of gear under combat conditions, for those who’ve never had the experience themselves, is the equivalent of lugging Hillary Clinton’s retired e-mail servers on your back while jogging down the Vegas Strip in July. Based on some of the reviews from soldiers who used the gear, the servers might have been equally combat-effective.

Only one version of Land Warrior ever saw combat: the “Stryker Interoperable” variant was designed to work with the systems aboard the Stryker Infantry Fighting Vehicle. It deployed to Iraq with the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment. The Stryker configuration of Land Warrior lowers the weight of the gear primarily by allowing soldiers to leave spare batteries in their vehicles. The gear is still deployed with Stryker mechanized infantry units.

Ironically, the entire Land Warrior program was cancelled in 2007, as its cost mounted—the cost of the gear for a single soldier exceeded $85,000. The program was scaled back and rebooted, becoming Ground Soldier System (GSS). But as the need to get something out to troops quickly mounted, GSS morphed into “Nett Warrior”—named in honor of World War II Medal of Honor winner Colonel Robert B. Nett. To meet needs quicker (and cheaper), the Army dispensed with the helmet-mounted monocle and went to a chest-mounted Android device, using off-the-shelf hardware components to achieve mostly the same thing—except now soldiers had to look down to check their smartphones.

Nett improvement

But Nett Warrior gave the Army a common platform to build from, just as commercial augmented-reality gear like Google Glass and Microsoft’s Halo were about to arrive. The Android-based system used for the Nett Warrior “end-user device” (EUD) gives the army both an existing common networking interface and a development platform ideal for building wearable computing applications.

Like Land Warrior before it, the Army’s vision for TAR is a combination of enhanced navigation, friendly force tracking, information sharing, and weapons targeting. But instead of having a monocle display “dashboard” to watch, the soldier would have data projected directly on their field of view in a way that meshes seamlessly with the terrain around them.

The HUNTR system developed over the past two years uses an Android port of a software package called ARC 4, according to a CERDEC presentation given at an industry event in October 2015. ARC, developed by Applied Research Associates, was also used in an earlier DARPA augmented-reality program called Ultra-Vis. The data from ARC can be displayed either within enhanced night-vision gear or on a variety of existing head-mounted see-through displays.

The software uses Global Positioning System data, helmet-camera data, and inertial sensors to “geo-register” the soldier’s field of view. That allows symbols designating waypoints, points of interest, and friendly forces to be projected on what the soldier sees, as well as a navigational “compass” showing the direction to tracked objects when they’re not in view. Additionally, a 3-D model of terrain can be superimposed on the real world to help in navigation. This data can be pulled in from the Nett Warrior device and pushed out to soldiers from an operations center and other sources as needed.

Display of determination

One of the major remaining problems for tactical augmented reality is that off-the-shelf display technology simply hasn’t been up to the demands of battlefield use. While it’s easy enough, relatively speaking, to project augmented-reality data on night-vision displays, daytime use of augmented reality has been made difficult by the relatively small field of view and low contrast of see-through displays.

Even Microsoft Hololens’ relatively large field of view may not be enough for tactical applications. And most displays don’t generate enough relative brightness to be visible over brightly lit desert or winter terrain (as shown by the CERDEC slide in the gallery above). So ARL and CERDEC had to work with suppliers to build their own.

Previous prototypes of TAR displays used black-and-white or “greenscreen” projections to maintain enough contrast to be visible. Color displays in the size range used (about one inch diagonally) could not provide enough resolution. But the prototype TAR display shown at Lab Days has significantly more contrast. The prototype allows color images to be superimposed on even the brightest backgrounds.

Meanwhile, Applied Research Associates is looking for commercial and consumer applications of its software—from logistics to augmented-reality gaming to social media. So while the Army pushes augmented reality to the battlefield, we may all be seeing data swimming in front of our eyes.

Source: https://arstechnica.com/

 

QUANTGLASS

Based on a nanocomputer, the quant glass or quantglass is a device anyone can wear like glasses.[1] The quant glass replaces both the smartphone, and the computer with its keyboard. It offers augmented reality vision, with a keyboard, an internet screen, global positioning features, Wi-Fi, blue tooth, and phone capabilities. Quant is related to molecular electronics and quantic physics as most fundamental processes in molecular electronics originate in the quantum realm.