The race for augmented reality glasses
Microcameras, wearable displays, and eye tracking…that sounds like a hot topic right up our alley! The latest buzz is all about augmentative reality glasses. The race is on and the competition is fierce as tech companies ranging from small start ups to giants like Google, are working hard to launch this futuristic technology on the consumer market. Let’s take a look at a few of the prototypes in the running:
The Lumus OE-31
The Lumus Optical Engine prototype features a thin display screen made of transparent plastic that hovers in front of the right eye. The screen is the perfect form for a reading a heads-up display (HUD), consisting of a tiny projector and a series of lenses, which are built into the plastic and reflect sections of the projection into the eye of the user. The unit has the potential to be small enough to be integrated into the hinges of a pair of glasses. Go here for more details.
Researchers at Fraunhofer IPMS are developing the first bidirectional, eye tracking micro-display that enables the wearer to use eye motion to navigate an augmented reality display. It’s a head mounted device (HMD) that uses OLED displays, which integrate both a display for viewing and a camera for tracking eye moment. Specs for the most recent iteration (to be announced at SID 2012) aren’t yet released, but the version from 2011 had a 320×240 monochrome display with 32 degree viewing angle and 1500 cd/m2 luminance. Check out this article.
The Innovega iOptik
This display system consists of a modified contact lens and glasses combo which allows the wearer to focus on two viewing planes simultaneously. This significantly reduces the size and weight of the HMD because the optical micro-components are actually embedded into the contact lens, enabling the wearer to see images projected in very close proximity to the eye. The glasses, which can be used independently, project 3D video through tiny projectors on the temple arms. The current prototype is intended for military use, but the potential applications in entertainment and gaming are thrilling. This system is estimated to be available in 2014. See this article for more.
Google Project Glass
And now let’s discuss the elephant in the room. Search for augmented reality, and all you get lately is pages and pages of results about Google’s latest top secret Project Glass. This augmented reality HMD has a small, slim design, and as of now, is being promoted as a way to snap pics when it’s inconvenient to grab your phone or camera. Google’s promo video, however, depicts it as a futuristic replacement for many of the functions currently available on smartphones, including maps, texting, and notifications driven by voice command. Watch the video here.
These are just four of the many augmented reality projects currently in action. We’ll keep you up to date on any new developments as the race continues!
- Sony Aims for Augmented Reality Glasses
- The Congruence of Eye Tracking and Augmented Reality
- 6 augmented reality apps at your fingertips
- Eye Tracking and Augmented Reality: The Future of Advertising
- Eye Tracking and Augmented Reality: An Interview With Metaio CEO
- A Brief History of Augmented Reality
- Eye Tracking: Augmented Reality Apps for the iPhone
- Augmented Reality and Pupil Tracking go Hand-in-Hand to Merge the Virtual and Real World
- Face Tracking Makes Glasses-Free 3D a Reality
- A little touch of augmented reality