In the week that Google Glass made its catwalk debut the UK based The Technology Partnership (TTP) presented their own prototype of Augmented Reality glasses. The Guardian writes that the TTP glasses “incorporate a tiny projector in one arm of the spectacles. The picture is then reflected from the side into the centre of the lenses, which are etched with a reflective pattern that then beams the image into the eye. That means the image is directly incorporated into what the wearer see when looking directly ahead – unlike Google’s current incarnation of Google Glass, which puts a small video screen in the bottom right-hand corner of the right eye. That requires the wearer to look down to focus on it, taking their attention away from the view ahead.”
The steering system uses passive electrodes mounted on the glasses that monitor activity in the muscles at the side of the user’s temple rather than eye-tracking.
The prototype currently only offers a monochrome image but this can be changed for a video image in weeks.
The Guardian adds that as a result the TTP glasses do not require the user to change their gaze like Google Glass does.
TTP sees sports and leisure (watching a video while on the move, for instance) as “obvious applications” while the killer app should be allowing drivers to look under the bonnet of their cars to see all elements there clearly labeled.
SlashGear comments: “Project-based systems aren’t new – Lumus has a similar approach with its AR eyepiece – but no single company has managed to corner the fledgling wearables market so far.”
Michael Abrash on the Valve Time blog is not impressed by AR Glass and the likes. He sees them as “largely like an extension of the smartphones we have today rather than a genuinely new platform” and decides that they are “just way less cool to me” than real Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality.
This view is even more interesting because Valve is said to be involved in creating wearable computing.
And then there is Sony:
Whatever direction wearable Augmented Reality will take is hard to say now. But, it is certain that it’s era is approaching soon.