Thanks, Google. Thanks a lot. Because of you, the race for novel gadgetry has been escalated to include the very personal landscape we all call “face.” It was bad enough trying to juggle computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, but you just had to set Sergey Brin loose these past few months perpetually wearing those Project Glass in order to mystify all of us wearing un-augmented reality glasses. Then Apple, who only ever invents and never actually borrows ideas from anyone never ever, went and patented what appears to be its answer to Project Glass. Now, a third company, Olympus, has announced (at least via its Japanese division) that it, too, has heads-up display glasses in the works.
Actually, all of that “I was here first!” territorial pissing is meaningless. Olympus has been working on its augmented reality glasses since 2005, Apple applied for a patent for some kind of head-mounted display back in 2006, and it’s not really certain when Google started working on Project Glass, although if the time span of Olympus’ work is any indication Google probably started working on it a lot earlier than December 2011. Nobody’s first, nobody’s last.
And truthfully, every tech company is inspired by science fiction writers and artists, so get over it.
Anyways, back to Olympus’ neato specs. The prototype is called MEG4.0 and features Bluetooth technology that can be used to communicate with smartphones. Including the battery, which can keep going for up to 8 hours, the glasses weigh less than 30 grams (that’s 0.066 pounds for you non-metric types) and sports a 320 x 240 QVGA display. The Verge makes a good and puzzling point, though, that the available information on MEG4.0 doesn’t seem to indicate that it is equipped with a camera, which would be somewhat… ridiculous given that Olympus has been making cameras for nearly 80 years. That’d be about like Ford trying to sell you an awesome driver-less car that doesn’t actually have an engine of any kind in it.
At any rate, the race is on to put a computer between your eyes. Prepare yourself for years and years of useless, regressive patent wars between companies.
[Via The Verge.]