Google Glass may have been shoved in a closet, but that doesn’t mean Google’s competitors have similarly given up. Earlier today Sony revealed that it would be offering its Android-compatible smart glasses to developers early next month.
“As a hands-free device, SmartEyeglass can be a promising product with many practical uses,” a Sony spokesperson told PC World. “But since we recognize the need to explore applications at this stage, we’re releasing this developer edition.”
Unlike Google Glass, the Sony SmartEyeglass can only display monochrome text and images in a user’s field of view, and not off to one side. There’s no way to interact by voice, winking, or blinking; instead Sony went with a a separate wired controller unit that houses a speaker, microphone, and an NFC module.
That sounds a little old school, but considering how completely the SmartEyeglass covers a user’s vision it might not be a bad idea. And as you can see in this promo video, the physical interface looks well-designed.
The glasses also have Wifi, Bluetooth, a 3MP camera, a g-sensor, and an accelerometer. It’s going to be sold through the Sony Developer World website, and will be released in Japan, Europe, and the US on 10 March.
Sony plans to charge $840 for its augmented reality SmartEyeglass, and it is targeting developers and industrial applications ahead of a planned commercial release sometime in 2016.
If you don’t want to wait for the release, Sony has already released an SDK for the SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1. You can find more info on the website.