In the first edition of SmartReality’s March Tech of the Month, we’re going to take a look at how augmented reality mobile apps are a growing technology trend right now. With the recent growth in virtual reality headsets and “smart glasses” such as Google Glass, Facebook’s Oculus VR, and Microsoft’s HoloLens, it is no wonder why Sony is now throwing its hat into the ring of augmented reality gadgets. The technology company recently launched its new virtual reality eyeglass headset named SED-E1 SmartEyeglass Developer Edition on March 10th for $840. The smart eyewear device was available for preorder on Sony’s online store in the United Kingdom and Germany, and is now up for sale in Japan and the United States.
The way the augmented reality headset works is SmartEyeglass displays information in the wearer’s line of sight similar to the Iron Man view interface in the movies. Although SmartEyeglass does not give relevant information about saving the world, it can assist users with directions and hands-free use for communication.
Sony is competing against the leading market provider Facebook Oculus, with Microsoft coming in a close second in competition. Unfortunately, some SmartEyeglass critics are saying that the headset has a “dorky” look that most consumers will not want to showcase. Critics further poke at the device by saying the device isn’t truly handsfree- due to a very noticeable controller that connects to the user’s apparel.
“Sony’s device acts primarily as an extension of your phone. It shows directions and text messages in a dreary green-and-black, and a cord dangles down from the side to a handheld controller dongle that you use to interact with the on-screen information.”
Sony SmartEyeglass seems to have a lot of work left to do on product design and overall innovation if it wants to compete with the augmented reality trend. Imagine how these augmented reality headsets can be used on a construction site. Wearers can view virtual reality plans, designs, and job sites before actually building, making the building process more efficient.