When smartglasses made their first appearance in the market, they were primarily aimed to entertain by offering an immersive experience to users. From bringing games to life by making users experience as if they were actually firing bullets or jumping over obstacles, to giving a […]
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The company behind Solos lays down a big claim, they say that their smartglasses are the world’s most technologically advanced smart sunglasses. The sporty looking glasses are designed for cyclists. They were actually designed with the cooperation of the USA Cycling Team for the aim of improving performance. The USA Cycling Team actually wore them while competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The concept of the smartglasses is to make you a better cyclist. It has a small heads-up display that shows your speed, cadence, heart rate and power zones. Furthermore, it connects with your phone where you can save your favorite tracks and look at your all-time statistics.
The Solo feature a Ghost Riding mode which allows you to compete against your previous times. Just turn it on and you will get real-time feedback comparing your current performance against previous ones on the same track.
The Solos are compatible with already existing exercise apps like Straya and MapMyRide. You will also be able to use the glasses as turn-by-turn navigation, so forget about checking your phone as you ride your bike. The Solo has Bluetooth connectivity and supports BLE and ANT+ sensors.
The Solos were projected to be shipped in late 2016 but up to this point has still not shipped. It is expected that the Solo will be available for consumers before 2017 ends. You can preorder for $375 which is $125 cheaper than the MSRP.
Osterhout Design Group’s R7 SmartGlass
ODG also brands themselves as being responsible for the world’s most advanced AR Smartglasses. These pairs are indeed quite astonishing when you take a closer look. They are untethered, fully integrated platforms, with impressive HD stereoscopic 3D displays.
They are run by a 2.7GHz quad-core processor with 3GB of DDR3 RAM. The glasses come with 64GB of internal storage. Furthermore they are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 enabled. On each lens of the R7 you will find a 720p see through display which projects at 80fps with a 37 degree FOV. With the 4 MP autofocus camera you can record 1080p video at 60fps. For gaze positioning the R7 uses a gyroscope, magnetometer and accelerometers. The whole platform is based on ReticleOS Custom Framework on Android Kit Kat.
The R7 is already available for purchase at $2,750 which is understandably pricey for many people. If you have time to spare you might want to wait for ODG’s release of their R8 and R9 models which is supposed to come in Q3 of 2017.
Vuzix Blade 3000
The Vuzix Blade 3000 looks slick, from a short distance you can’t even tell it is a pair of smart glasses. It’s also not only pretty from the outside – what is under the hood is also quite eye-catching.
With the Blade 3000 you can check and post to social media, take calls, check messages, listen to music, perform web searches, receive geo-specific content and more.
The Blade 3000’s display is projected onto the right lens of the glasses. What you see is a vivid, full color, high resolution display.
For your location and gaze tracking the Blade 3000 uses a built-in GPS, gyroscope, accelerometer and hull sensors from Myriad sensors.
There are a couple of ways to control the glasses. First off, you can use voice commands through the noise-canceling mic. And second of all, you can use a touch pad with uses vibration feedback to control the device with swipes and touches.
The device has an internal 64GB storage module, a MicroSD expansion slot, a Micro USB port, 7MP camera that allows 1080p video recording and is Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi enabled. The Blade 3000 is powered by Android 5.0 and a quad-core ARM CPU.
Vuzix plans to release the Blade 3000 in the second half of 2017 for about $1,000.
This is a pair of augmented reality viewer made for board game lovers to have fun with. The CastAR is designed for tabletop gaming. It projects hologram-like images into real life using a retro-reflective material that is laid on a flat surface and two micro-projectors. If you want to see soldiers battling, or you want to play a game of virtual battleship on top of your kitchen table, you will be able to do so with the CastAR. Move around the projection to see what’s going on from all sides or look on top of the projection for a bird’s eye view.
With your CastAR you will receive a so called Magic Wand to help you interact with the projections. You can move augmented objects and select them among other options depending which game you are playing with the CastAR.
In late 2016 the company behind CastAR announced that they will be returning $1 million in Kickstarter money back to its supporters. This is because CastAR recently raised $15 million in venture capital from Playground Global. This investment will certainly translate into a final product which is top of the line. You can expect a consumer level release of the CastAP sometime in 2017.
While we are used relating AR of VR with smart glasses, the Vue doesn’t do any of those. These pair of smart glasses do delivers some quite interesting features.
The most intriguing probably being the bone conduction technology that allows you to listen to music or other audio without the use of earphones. With a touchpad you can make and take calls and also control your music. The music playback is quite well considering this is the first time such technology is coming on a consumer level.
Furthermore it has other features like Find My Glasses, gesture control, wireless charging and has up to 7 days of standby time. All of this without looking like ordinary, bulky smart glasses. They are actually quite indistinguishable from a normal pair of eyeglasses.
What would also be welcoming to many people is that they function as any other pair of glasses in the sense of you can order them with prescription lenses or as sunglasses.
While Vue’s Kickstarter page is still active, it will gives you a chance to buy a pair for 33% of the projected retail price. The glasses are planned to be shipped as early as July of 2017.
Learn more about Smartglasses’ security threats.
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Many people have still not realized the multitude of augmented reality (AR) apps that is out there waiting to be downloaded. To most the concept is still futuristic without realizing that they have been using such apps for a long time. Snapchat and Pokémon Go are prime examples of AR apps which are quite popular. That being said here is a list of AR apps that are either fun to use or simply shows how far AR technology has already been implemented in applications for mobile devices.
- Ingress (Android, iOS) (Free)
The game Ingress was the winner of the Grand Prize at the 2015 Japanese Media Arts Festival. The same people who are behind Pokémon Go are behind this app; Niantic, Inc. Just as Pokémon Go you have to take the streets to play this game. Players join rival teams “The Enlightened” and “The Resistance” and battle against each other. Playing this game will lead you on a path to many famous buildings and landmarks.
- Wikitude (Android, iOS) (Free)
This app gives you the ability to give your surroundings augmented reality content, connecting you to the world in its own special way. You can use the app to search for something specific like “hamburger joint” and then look around through your phone to see what your surrounding area has to offer. This does not only work for restaurants but you could use the app to scan anything around you to see if they provide AR content. Scan a magazine and see if you get additional content like videos or promotions!
- Star Walk 2 – Night Sky Guide (Android, iOS) (€2,99)
If you have ever looked up to the sky and wondered what exactly you are looking at then you should consider buying this app. This app is a map of the stars, planets, moons, constellations and other wonders in the sky. After launching the app, point your camera to the sky and you will get detailed information of your camera is capturing. You can even track man-made made missions and satellites like the ISS.
- Quiver – 3D Coloring App (Android, iOS) (Free, in-app purchases)
This app is a mix between traditional coloring books and AR. You can use this app to make your drawings come to life! You can download free templates using the app, print them out and then fill them out with your favorite colors. Afterwards simply use the app to scan your drawings and see them portrayed in 3D. The apps also boast other features like being able to interact with animated characters by ‘touching’ them.
- Amikasa (iOS) (Free)
If you ever been furniture shopping you probably know the hassle of trying to picture how exactly they will look like in your room. This app changes that. With this app, you can use AR to decorate your room using furniture and decors from real brands. From now on you will only buy furniture that actually fits and looks good in your room!
- Google Translate (Android, iOS) (Free)
If you are a traveler you simply should have this app on your smartphone. The app allows you to point your camera to a text in a foreign language and have it translated to the language of your choice. Is a menu in Chinese? Through the screen of your phone, it could be in Spanish, English or any other language! The app also gives you the ability to download language packages so you don’t have to have an active internet connection to use it.
- WallaMe (Android, iOS) (Free)
WallaMe is a fun little app allowing you to leave either hidden or public messages virtually on any wall in the real world. You simply have to walk up to a wall, take a picture of it and then leave a message or a freehand sketch. Afterwards, you can also choose to share your AR creations with your friends.
- Yelp (Android, iOS, Kindle) (Free)
When it comes to reviews about restaurants and businesses worldwide Yelp has always been the leader. Combine this with AR technology and you got yourself an app worth having in your arsenal. The app uses your GPS location to display markers on reviewed businesses in your surroundings. It also has a feature for those who have signed up for a Yelp account where you see which businesses your friends have recently been to. Note: Depending on when you are reading this, the AR part of Yelp could still only be available on the iOS.
- Anatomy 4D
This app is one of the best educational apps currently available for your smartphone. It’s a wonderful tool to learn about the anatomy of the human body. The visuals are stunning and you can also interact with them. You simply have to print out an image from the app’s “Target Library”, put the image on a flat surface and then scan it with your smartphone to see the educational show.
For those who are too afraid of getting a tattoo because they don’t know how it will look on them, there is an app for them. Using AR, Inkhunter lets you virtually place a tattoo on a body party which you can then see from different angles. You can use your own tattoo designs or choose one included in the app.
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